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Fresh off the heels of closing its $800 million acquisition of Milwaukee-based grocer Roundy's, The Kroger Co. is primed to acquire Greensboro, N.C.-based Fresh Market, according to published reports.
The Fresh Market is said to be in the second stage of an auction process involving Kroger and other private equity firms, according to Reuters, which named private equity firms Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital as others taking part in the Fresh Market auction.
Both retailers declined comment and told PG, “we don’t comment on [market] rumors or speculation.”
The Fresh Market – which operates 183 stores in 27 states – revealed in October it was undertaking a strategic review of its options, including a potential sale, amid an internal shakeup that saw former COO Sean Crane terminated alongside the hiring of veteran retail executive Pamela Kohn as new chief merchandising officer.
Additionally, The Fresh Market's CEO and former Delhaize America exec Rick Anicetti, who took the helm last September, revealed plans last fall to “reinvent” the specialty grocery chain’s underperforming center store sections through more differentiation.
This is a breaking story. Stay tuned for continuing coverage.