GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Fresh Market hopes to raise $345 million in a public stock offering, the specialty grocer here told federal regulators Tuesday.
The initial public offering on the NASDAQ exchange would go toward expanding the 95-store chain. The company in its filing said its studies indicate it could expand to as many as 500 stores in the U.S.
The IPO comes two years after the family-owned company called off plans for a potential sale to private equity investors. The founding Berry family said it would continue to own more than 50% of Fresh Market stock following the IPO.
In financial figures included as part of the filing, Fresh Market reported net earnings of $49.2 million on sales of $861 million and a 32.1% gross profit margin in 2009. Comparable-store sales were down by 1.1% in 2009 and down by 1.5% in 2008, following several years of strong comp increases.
The company said deteriorating economic conditions leading to fewer customer visits and smaller transaction sizes contributed to the decline in comparable sales. Comps, however, were positive in the second half of 2009. Profits increased as a result of greater efficiencies and sales volume.
Read More of Today's Headlines