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South American retailer buying majority stake in The Fresh Market for $675 million

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South American retailer Cencosud has acquired the majority stake in The Fresh Market.

The Fresh Market Holdings is being acquired in a deal that marks its new owner’s entry into the U.S. market.

South American retailer Cencosud has entered into an agreement with Apollo to acquire a 67% stake in the Greensboro, N.C.-based specialty grocer.  Existing company shareholders, including the Apollo Funds, the Berry family and company management, will retain a minority equity interest in The Fresh Market.

Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market has 160 stores across 22 states. Stores average 21,000 sq. ft. The company reported revenue of $1.93 billion in 2021.

Cencosud is one of the largest multi-brand retail conglomerates in Latin America, with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia. The group has a diversified portfolio of retail segments, including 915 supermarkets, 108 home improvement and construction stores, 49 department stores, and 67 shopping centers and malls.

“Cencosud has demonstrated that it is a world-class retailer with exceptional margins, and we look forward to sharing best practices across our businesses,” said Jason Potter, Fresh Market CEO. “The Fresh Market has experienced strong financial momentum over the last few years and this partnership with Cencosud will allow the company to further capture market share as we expand our footprint in our core Southeast market and beyond.”

Apollo Partner Andrew Jhawar, commented, "The Fresh Market has experienced best-in-class sales growth over the last two years, and we are very excited to enter its next phase alongside Cencosud, one of the best retailers in South America.” 

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In a statement, Matias Videla, CEO of Cencosud, called The Fresh Market “one of the best supermarkets in the USA.”

“[It is] widely recognized by market specialists and customers alike for its customer-centric culture, excellence in fresh produce and memorable shopping experience in its stores,” Videla said. “This unique value proposition is a result of the successful strategy executed and the commitment of a team of highly experienced executives led by Jason and Andy. We are very pleased to make our first investment in the American market through a partnership of the prestige of Apollo Global Management with extensive experience in the retail market. Our team is very excited to start working together to accelerate the growth and value of the company."

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