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Grocery Outlet files IPO registration

Extreme-value retailer looks to fuel rapid growth

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is poised to make an initial public offering.

The extreme-value grocery chain said late Tuesday that it has filed a Form S-1 draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed IPO of common stock. The offering, to be made as Grocery Outlet Holding Corp., is slated to begin after the SEC review process, depending on market conditions and other factors.

At this time, the share price range and number of shares to be offered haven’t yet been determined, the company said.

Emeryville, Calif.-based Grocery Outlet has more than 300 stores in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. The chain touts big discounts on brand-name products, offering savings of 40% to 70% versus conventional retailers, achieved through a sourcing model of purchasing surplus inventory and product overruns directly from thousands of supplier partners.

Grocery Outlet stores are run by independent owner-operators from the communities they serve and carry a full range of grocery products, including fresh produce, meat and deli; dairy; beer and wine; natural and organic items; health and beauty aids; and seasonal items. The retailer describes itself as the nation’s largest and fastest-growing extreme-value grocery retailer, drawing over 1.5 million shoppers to its stores weekly.

Starting this year, Grocery Outlet transitioned its leadership from a dual-CEO structure. The company’s board of directors in late December named Eric Lindberg as CEO and MacGregor Read as vice chairman effective Jan. 1. They had served as co-CEOs since 2006. Both are third-generation members of the family of Jim Read, who founded the retailer in 1946.

In the fall of 2014, Grocery Outlet’s senior management partnered with affiliates of private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC to acquire the chain from principal owner Berkshire Partners LLC. At the time, the chain had approximately 210 stores in six states.

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