Fresh Market shares soar on Apollo takeover offer

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Specialty grocery retailer Fresh Market said on Monday it agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Apollo Global Management for about $1.36 billion in cash.

Shares of Fresh market surged more than 20 percent in premarket trading following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)

The $28.50 per share offer represents a premium of 24 percent to Fresh Market’s Friday close.

The offer is at a 53 percent premium to Feb. 10, the day before Reuters reported that Apollo Global was among buyout firms participating in an auction process for Fresh Market.

Fresh Market said on Monday its board had unanimously approved the deal, except chairman and founder Ray Berry.

Berry recused himself from all discussions related to a review of strategic alternatives and from voting on the transaction, the retailer said.

Reuters had earlier reported, citing sources, that Berry was himself considering taking the company private.

Berry and his son Brett collectively own about 9.8 percent of Fresh Market’s outstanding shares.

The deal that has fully committed financing in place is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.

J.P. Morgan Securities is financial adviser to Fresh Market, while Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, Jefferies and Macquarie Capital are advising Apollo.

CNBC contributed to this report.

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