Ontario-based Cardenas Markets is changing owners, switching from one private equity fund to another.
Funds managed by global asset manager Apollo have agreed to acquire the supermarket chain from current owner KKR.
The move comes less than a week after Cardenas announced it was expanding its Southern California footprint with the acquisition of six Rio Ranch Markets in the Inland Empire.
The merger will combine Cardenas, which operates 59 locations across California, Nevada and Arizona, with Tony’s Fresh Market, a Chicago-area grocery chain with 18 stores that was acquired by Apollo Capital Management in April.
The expanded enterprise will operate as a Hispanic- and ethnic-focused grocer with nearly 80 locations across the U.S. and $1.8 billion in combined revenues, according to Apollo.
The transaction must clear regulatory hurdles before its expected close in the third quarter of 2022, Apollo said. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cardenas and Tony’s will continue to operate under their respective brands and local leadership, Apollo officials said. Local Cardenas Markets can be found in Corona, Fontana, Hesperia, Indio, Montclair, Ontario, Perris, Rialto, Jurupa Valley, San Bernardino and Victorville.
Founded in 1981, Cardenas is one of the largest Hispanic grocery chains in the country. The company was acquired by KKR in 2016 and has since nearly doubled in size.
“Since KKR acquired Cardenas Markets our store count grew from 32 to 59 through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth,” company spokeswoman Marisa Kutansky said.
The grocery chain currently operates 51 stores under the Cardenas Markets banner, seven as Los Altos Ranch Markets and one under the name Cardenas Ranch Markets.
Cardenas CEO Doug Sanders said the acquisition will allow both companies to better levergage their collective strengths.
“Together, as two of the highest quality Hispanic and ethnic grocers, we can deliver even greater value to the communities we serve,” Sanders said in a statement.
Andrew Jhawar and Joanna Reiss, private equity partners with Apollo, expect the growth to continue.
“Cardenas has grown significantly over the last several years under Doug’s leadership and we are excited to accelerate its growth in combination with Tony’s in this next phase,” they said.