Apollo to acquire warehouse food stores(2)

The New York-based firm will buy Los Angeles-based Smart & Final in a deal worth nearly $813m.

New York-based buyout firm Apollo Management has agreed to buy Smart & Final, a Los Angeles-based operator of non-membership warehouse food stores, for about $812.9 million (€618.9 million). The transaction value includes the assumption of debt.

Shareholders will receive $22 per share in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Apollo will also acquire a subsidiary of Paris-based Casino Guichard-Perrachon, an owner and operator of supermarkets, restaurants, convenience stores and discount stores in France. Casino owns about 55 percent of Smart & Final’s common stock, and the subsidiary owns about 52.2 percent of it. This secondary acquisition depends on the closing of the Smart & Final merger, Smart & Final said in a statement. The purchase price of the subsidiary will be decided based on the number of Smart & Final shares it owns at the same $22 per share purchase price established in the merger, the statement said. Apollo will acquire the remainder of Casino’s Smart & Final shares following the merger.

Casino has been an investor in Smart & Final for 23 years, Etienne Snollaerts, the president and chief executive officer of Smart & Final, said in a statement.

This investment comes from Apollo’s sixth corporate fund, Apollo Investment Fund VI. The fund closed at approximately $12 billion in January of 2006. The firm agreed to take private real estate franchise company Realogy Corporation in a deal worth approximately $9 billion in December.