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Gelson’s Markets to be acquired by Japanese retailer

Gelson’s Markets, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary this July, is being sold to a Japanese company looking to expand its fledgling U.S. footprint.

Pan Pacific International Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire the upscale California grocery store chain from private equity firm TPG Capital. PPIH operates 638 stores, with 582 of them in Japan. It also operates stores in Hawaii (Don Quijote – USA; Marukai; Big Save; and Times), and California, under the Marukai and Tokyo Central banners. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, were not disclosed. 

Gelson’s, known for its premium service and upscale assortments, was acquired by TPG Capital in 2014. The company operates 27 stores, primarily in Southern California coastal communities.

“As we look to the future, we are excited about opportunities for new growth and partnerships under PPIH, while remaining focused on our longtime commitment to the highest standards of quality, value, and unsurpassed customer service,” stated Rob McDougall, president and CEO of Gelson’s. “PPIH leadership has visited every one of our locations and has been incredibly complimentary of our stores and teams, as well as our customer service philosophy.”

PPIH has been growing its stake in California since acquiring Marukai in 2013.

“We strongly respect Gelson’s brand and history of 70 years known as a premium supermarket chain in the U.S.,” said Naoki Yoshida, president and CEO of PPIH. “We have set our footprint in the state of California when we acquired Marukai Corporation in 2013, and we look forward to expanding our presence in California and dedicating ourselves to satisfying customers who value quality products, cleanliness, convenience, and personal service. We feel excited to work with Gelson’s team to accelerate future growth.”

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