Food retailer Smart & Final Stores files for $100 mln IPO-Reuters

(Reuters) – Food retailer Smart & Final Stores Inc, backed by private equity firm Ares Management LP, filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.

Smart & Final has about 247 small-box and warehouse-style stores in the western United States.

The company also operates about 52 Cash & Carry stores, focused primarily on restaurants and foodservice businesses such as food trucks and coffee houses.

The century-old company, founded by J.S. Smart and H.D. Final, was bought by recently listed Ares Management from Apollo Global Management LLC in 2012 for $975 million.

Smart & Final listed grocers such as Kroger Co and Safeway Inc, warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale Corp and foodservice delivery company Sysco Corp among its competitors.

The company also offers catering services and features appetizers and snack recipes like grilled steaks and smoky canapes on its website.
Smart & Final, which has more than 8,000 employees, reported a rise of 13 percent in net sales to $3.2 billion between 2011 and 2013. Net income fell to $8.2 million from $10.5 million during the same period.

The company, headed by 59-year-old David Hirz, a former executive of Kroger, plans to use the proceeds from the offering for debt repayment and general corporate purposes.

California-based Smart & Final listed Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as lead underwriters to the IPO.

Smart & Final’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission did not disclose how many shares the company planned to sell.
The company, which plans to list its common stock under the symbol “SFS”, did not reveal on which exchange it intends to list its stock.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

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