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Smart & Final IPO Set for Next Week

Commerce warehouse retailer Smart & Final Stores Inc., which filed for an IPO in June, will begin trading Wednesday according to Reuters PEHub. The company will offer about 13.5 million shares, priced between $12 and $14. At the midpoint of that range, the IPO would raise about $175 million and value Smart & Final at about $925 million.

The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange, with the ticker SFS. Century City private equity firm Ares Management, which acquired Smart & Final in 2012 from another private equity group for in a $975 million leveraged buyout. Ares put in $287 million in cash – the rest was debt – and now stands to make a huge return.

If the stock prices at the midpoint of $13, Ares’ stake in the company would be worth $716 million – about two and a half times what Ares paid for the company. The private equity firm will remain the majority owner of Smart & Final after the offering, holding about 75 percent of the company’s shares.

Smart & Final operates 250 stores in the western United States and 13 in northern Mexico. It earned about $8.2 million in net income last year on revenue of $3.2 billion. The company, one of the oldest in Los Angeles County, was founded in 1871 in Los Angeles as wholesale grocer Hellman-Haas Grocery Co.

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