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05/17/2021

Smart & Final Grocery Chain to be Acquired for $620M

The supermarket chain will be acquired by Bodega Latina Corp. (BLC), a Paramount, California-based subsidiary of Mexican supermarket operator Grupo Comercial Chedraui (GCC).
Smart & Final exterior

The supermarket chain will be acquired by Bodega Latina Corp. (BLC), a Paramount, California-based subsidiary of Mexican supermarket operator Grupo Comercial Chedraui (GCC).

Bodega Latina Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Smart & Final Holdings from funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. 

Smart & Final is self-described as “a smaller, faster grocery warehouse store for household and business customers.” The company is headquartered in Commerce, California, and operates more than 250 stores under two banners: Smart & Final and Smart & Final Extra!, in California, Arizona and Nevada. The company also operates an additional 16 stores in Northwestern Mexico through a joint venture. Smart & Final has been in business for more than 150 years and reported $4.1 billion in revenues for 2020.

The $620 million deal is well below a previous acquisition of the supermarket chain. In 2019, Smart & Final was acquired by investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management for $1.12 billion. The alternative investment manager firm Apollo also previously owned Smart & Final and sold the chain in 2012 to Ares Management. 

Bodega Latina Corp. operates 63 El Super grocery stores in 13 counties throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

“We are excited about the combination of Grupo Comercial Chedraui and Bodega Latina with Smart & Final, which further scales and expands our U.S. footprint,” José Antonio Chedraui Eguía, CEO of Chedraui, said in a statement. “This acquisition is aligned with our long-term strategy to find financially attractive and accretive opportunities, while maintaining consolidated indebtedness at prudent ranges.”

Smart & Final will operate as a stand-alone unit within GCC after closing. The transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2021, pending U.S. and Mexican regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

“Smart & Final, with a unique go-to-market and operating strategy, is an attractive fit that is aligned with our business strategy in the U.S., utilizing differentiated formats to focus on growing, but underserved markets,” said Carlos Smith, president and CEO of Bodega Latina. “With a brand that resonates with consumers, geographic fit in key markets, and a consistent record of profitable growth, Smart & Final will complement the platform we’ve built with El Super and Fiesta. We look forward to welcoming Smart & Final’s talented team of over 11,000 employees in working together to create a premier food retail platform in our markets.”