Tesco’s Fresh & Easy sold to Yucaipa

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 144 views 

Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. is now the owner of 150 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores auctioned off in bankruptcy court. The California-based grocery was owned by British retailer Tesco, who sought bankruptcy protection for its Fresh & Easy unit last year.

The Los Angeles-based Yucaipa company said it expects to build the chain into “a healthy, convenient food experience,” according to a report from Supermarket News.

James Keyes, former chief executive of 7-Eleven Inc., was tagged by Burkle to create a strategy for Fresh & Easy and negotiate the deal with Tesco.

Yucaipa, a private equity firm, is no stranger to grocery turnarounds having ample experience with Fred Meyer and Jurgensen’s. Analysts credit Burkle with an uncanny ability to squeeze profits out of a very thin margins, then breathing life into weak supermarkets before selling them for a profit.

Yucaipa released this statement following the deal closure with Tesco on Nov. 22:

"There will be many exciting changes in the coming weeks that will improve convenience, hours and customer service, along with greater value, better prices and stores that are easier to shop.”