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Fresh Market receives $676 million offer for 67% ownership stake from South American retailer

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South American retailer Cencosud has offered to spend $676 million, including $265 million in cash, to buy a 67% ownership stake in Greensboro-based The Fresh Market Holdings Inc.

South American retailer Cencosud said Wednesday it has offered to spend $676 million, including $265 million in cash, to buy a 67% ownership stake in Greensboro-based The Fresh Market Holdings Inc.

Fresh Market said existing company shareholders, including the Apollo Funds, the Berry family and corporate management, would have a combined 33% stake.

The supermarket chain was founded in 1982. It has 160 stores across 22 states, including two in Greensboro, one in Winston-Salem and 21 overall in North Carolina.

The chain reported $1.93 billion in fiscal 2021 revenues.

Cencosud said the proposed deal would provide 12% of its global revenue from the United States, as well as greater access to U.S. capital markets options.

If the deal is approved by federal regulators, Fresh Market management would remain in charge of the chain.

"Cencosud has demonstrated that it is a world-class retailer with exceptional margins," Jason Potter, Fresh Market's chief executive, said in a statement.

"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."

Cencosud said a major incentive for the deal is being "able to leverage best practices across its Latin American businesses to The Fresh Market, and accordingly incorporate best practices from The Fresh Market to its existing portfolio, helping to drive increased performance and efficiencies."

Matias Videla, Cencosud's chief executive, said in a statement that "The Fresh Market is 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."

"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."

Apollo partner Andrew Jhawar said that Fresh Market "has a tremendous new store growth opportunity that Cencosud's investment can accelerate."

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