PE firm Hellman & Friedman close to buying Grocery Outlet – WSJ

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC is close to buying privately held supermarket chain Grocery Outlet Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal, which could be announced by Monday, would cap an auction involving several buyout firms, the Journal reported. First-round bids for Grocery Outlet valued it at more than $1.1 billion, the newspaper cited the people as saying.

The supermarket chain’s owner, Berkshire Partners LLC, had hired Barclays Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc to run a sale process for the company, people close to the matter told Reuters in mid-June.

The sale was expected to value the California-based retailer at more than $1 billion, they had said.