Ares Management has agreed to buy a majority stake in Smart & Final Holdings in a deal valued at $975 million. Senior management is retaining a minority stake. The seller was Apollo Global Management. Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final is smaller store, warehouse-style, “no membership fee,” multi-format retailer that serves both households and smaller businesses. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank Securities are providing debt financing. UPDATE: Robert Robison, R. Alec Dawson, Juan Damian Guzman and Andrew Milano of Morgan Lewis provided legal advice to Smart & Final. Dan Mandel, Dan Fetters and Thomas Amster of Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Smart & Final. Michael Woronoff and Daniel Ganitsky of Proskauer Rose supplied legal advice to Ares.