Yucaipa Cos. LLC is set to acquire Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain from Britain-based Tesco, which has been struggling to turn a profit with the chain since its debut in 2007.
The deal was announced Tuesday, although the terms were not disclosed.
Fresh & Easy operates more than 150 U.S. stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, but has failed to turn a profit during its six years in business. Tesco announced its intention to sell the company last December.
Yucaipa’s purchase is expected to be complete within three months, and in the meantime it will be business as usual for most Fresh & Easy stores, Yucaipa said in a press release.
“The decision we are announcing today represents the best outcome for Tesco shareholders and Fresh & Easy’s stakeholders,” said Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco. “It offers us an orderly and efficient exit from the U.S. market, while protecting the jobs of more than 4,000 colleagues at Fresh & Easy.”
“Fresh & Easy is a tremendous foundation,” said Ron Burkle, managing partner of Yucaipa. “Tesco should be applauded for giving their customers an affordable, healthy, convenient shopping experience. Its dedicated employees and great base of customers give us a solid starting point to complete Tesco’s vision with some changes that we think will make it even more relevant to today’s consumer. We plan on continuing to build Fresh & Easy into a “next-generation convenience retail experience,” providing busy consumers with more local and healthy access for their daily needs.”