Food Retailer Smart & Final Explores Sale

Smart & Final Stores Inc (SFS.N), a U.S. food retailer controlled by private equity firm Ares Management Corp (ARES.N), is exploring options that include a sale of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

An outright sale would allow Ares to cash out on its majority stake in Smart & Final. It acquired the company in 2012 from fellow buyout firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) for $975 million, including debt.

Ares took Smart & Final public in 2014 at a price of $12 per share. The shares have lost close to half their value since then, as the company has struggled in a tough environment for brick-and-mortar retailers.

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