Los Angeles Business Journal

TPG to Acquire of Owner of Gelson’s Markets

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gelson’s Markets parent Arden Group Inc. has announced it will be acquired by investment firm TPG in a deal valued at $394 million.

The Compton-based parent of the upscale Encino grocery chain said this summer that it was exploring strategic alternatives that could include a sale of the 17-store company. It recently announced that TPG of Fort Worth, Texas, will pay shareholders $126.50 a share in cash for each share of Arden common stock they hold. That represents a 14-percent premium to the stock’s closing price the day before plans for the sale were disclosed.

TPG’s retail portfolio includes the Burger King and Daphne restaurant chains, and upscale retailers J. Crew and Neiman Marcus Group. “Gelson’s Markets is an iconic Southern California supermarket chain that prides itself on offering quality and unmatched customer service,” Carrie Wheeler, a TPG partner, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the team to further expand Gelson’s footprint of premier supermarkets.”

Stockholders representing about 56 percent of Arden’s Class A common stock are expected to execute a written consent approving the transaction. Several law firms that specialize in litigating such transactions said on Thursday they would be investigating whether Arden’s management and board got the best deal for shareholders.

Arden shares on Thursday closed down 22 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $126.69 on the Nasdaq.