Kroger Bids to Acquire The Fresh Market, Sources Say
CINCINNATI, OH - Reports have surfaced that Kroger Co. has entered into the ring for a possible acquisition of The Fresh Market. According to “people familiar with the matter,” Reuters says, The Fresh Market has been exploring a sale, and Kroger has already put up its bid.
Kroger is in the second round of the auction process for The Fresh Market, Reuters reports, also naming such companies and private equity firms as Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co, and TPG Capital as interested parties in the auction process.
Reuters’ sources, who have asked not to be named, say that at this time, there is no certainty that Kroger will be the victor of the auction or that The Fresh Market will agree to sell itself to any party.
This announcement comes on the heels of several disappointing financial quarters for The Fresh Market, along with the revelation of a detailed turnaround plan by the company’s CEO, Rick Ancetti. In his plan, Ancetti said that by revamping several programs, including fresh produce, The Fresh Market would be able to recover from its falling profits in “about three to five years,” as we’ve previously reported.
In October, The Fresh Market said it had retained investment bank JP Morgan Chase to assist in a review of strategic options, including the potential sale of the company.
Furthermore, Kroger has not been shy about its wish to put even more store locations under its belt. Kroger acquired Harris Teeter for $2.4 billion in 2014, and at the close of last year the Cincinnati-based retail giant acquired Roundy's for $800 million.
Following Reuters’ announcement of this possible acquisition, shares of The Fresh Market rose by as much as 23 percent, trading up 16 percent at $21.57 in early afternoon trading in New York yesterday, giving it a market value of close to $1 billion, the news source reports.