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Reuters reports that the boards of directors at The Fresh Market has accepted a $1.36 billion offer by Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm, which beat out Kroger, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and TPG Capital, all of which were said to be interested in the chain, which has 183 stores in 27 states.

Investor's Business Daily writes that "the deal is seen closing in the second quarter of 2016, pending certain conditions. The terms of the agreement allow the Fresh Market to actively seek out alternative proposals until April 1."

The Reuters story says that company chairman/founder Ray Berry, who with his son owns close to 10 percent of the company, recused himself from the vote; there were reports that Berry wanted to take the company private.

The deal, once completed, is expected to give Fresh Market "the financial muscle and operational maturity to grow into a larger entity," the story says.
KC's View:
Larger, perhaps, but also more differentiated ... I hope. Because to my mind, there is a lot of potential there that is unrealized ... it seems to me that while the company does decent business because it often can be the nicest store in certain markets, it does not have the kind of image and value proposition that would compel customers to pass other, similar stores to go there. And to me, that's the way to measure whether a retailer really is getting it done.