Retailers

Save Mart Has a New Owner

Kingswood Capital Management LP acquires the grocery chain
Save Mart

The Save Mart Cos. announced March 28 that Kingswood Capital Management LP has acquired the company. Terms of the transaction of the change in ownership were not disclosed at the time of the announcement. 

"I'm excited for this opportunity with Kingswood to invest in and grow The Save Mart Cos. family of stores," said Save Mart CEO Chris McGarry. "The Piccinini family did a tremendous job in fostering a commitment to innovation and service as they built and grew this company in the Central Valley and throughout California."

Some of those innovations for the Modesto, Calif.-based grocer include partnering with Starship Technologies on the launch of a contactless, on-demand grocery delivery fleet of self-driving robots in 2020, and more recently, investing in electric-vehicle charging stations as it expands its partnership with EVgo

Praising the stores team of 14,000 employees, McGarry said this change in ownership will be “transparent to our team and customers" and that "this investment will benefit them and the communities we serve."

Save Mart has about 200 stores throughout California and northern Nevada under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx. In addition to its grocery store operation, it also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries, which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy processing plant in Turlock, Calif.

Kingswood, an operationally-focused private equity firm based in Los Angeles, has experience in retail, already owning Alameda, Calif.-based Cost Plus World Market, which it acquired in January 2021 from Bed Bath and Beyond, and Mare Island, Calif.-based Lind Marine, a marine services business that it recapitalized in January 2022

Kingswood said in a statement that the acquisition of The Save Mart Cos. will expand its already existing Northern California presence. "At Kingswood, our goal is to make good businesses even better, and The Save Mart Cos. presents us with a great opportunity to do so," said Alex Wolf, managing partner and founder of Kingswood. "Their 70 years of history in the Central Valley provides a strong foundation for future profitable growth, and we look forward to working with Chris and the team to position these iconic grocery brands for the future."

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal adviser to Kingswood on the transaction.

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