Buyout firm Apollo to buy Smart & Final Stores

April 16 () - Apollo Global Management LLC has agreed to acquire Smart & Final Stores Inc for about $1.1 billion, including debt, the second time the private equity firm would own the U.S. food retailer, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The deal would come after Apollo sold Smart & Final to Ares Management Corp , another buyout firm, in 2012 for $975 million, including debt. It would be Apollo's latest bet on the brick-and-mortar grocery sector, even after its last acquisition in the space, its $1.4 billion leveraged buyout of Fresh Market Inc in 2016, has soured amid increasing competition.

The deal will be announced by Wednesday morning, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Apollo declined to comment, while Smart & Final did not respond to a request for comment.

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