MILWAUKEE — The largest stake in Roundy's Supermarkets  here may be for sale by Willis Stein & Partners, which has owned the majority of shares in the chain since mid-2002.
According to published reports, the Chicago-based investment company is trying to sell its Roundy's share following the completion earlier this month of an initial public offering at $8.50 per share. The $111 million raised in the IPO has been earmarked to pay off debt.
Following the IPO, Willis Stein and its co-investors in Roundy's own 45.5% of the company, management owns 6.2% and public investors own 48.3%.
Willis Stein sought to sell Roundy's in 2007 and again last year. At the time the IPO was announced in December, one industry analyst told SN, "After the offering, the stock would become a liquid asset that could be monetized at once or over several months or years."
Roundy's operates 158 stores — including 93 Pick 'n Saves and three upscale Metro Markets here and in eastern Wisconsin; 32 Rainbow Foods in Minneapolis; 26 Copps in the Madison, Wis., market; and four Mariano's Fresh Markets in Chicago — with estimated sales of $3.8 billion.