Save Mart Acquired by Kingswood Capital Management

Private-equity firm also owns Cost Plus World Market
Save Mart Logos
With the acquisition of The Save Mart Cos., Kingswood Capital Management is expanding its existing Northern California presence.

The Save Mart Cos. has been acquired by Kingswood Capital Management LP, an operationally focused private-equity firm based in Los Angeles, with significant experience in the retail sector. Terms of the transaction haven’t been disclosed.

“I’m excited for this opportunity with Kingswood to invest in and grow The Save Mart Cos. family of stores,” said Save Mart CEO Chris McGarry. “The Piccinini family did a tremendous job in fostering a commitment to innovation and service as they built and grew this company in the Central Valley and throughout California. As a result, we have great stores and a committed team of 14,000 employees who provide fantastic local products and are wonderful stewards of the communities in which they live and work. While this change in ownership will be transparent to our team and customers, we know that this investment will benefit them and the communities we serve.”

With the acquisition, Kingswood is expanding its existing Northern California presence. The firm already owns Alameda, Calif.-based specialty/import retailer Cost Plus World Market, which it acquired in January 2021 from Bed Bath and Beyond, and Mare Island, Calif.-based Lind Marine, a diversified marine services business north of the San Francisco Bay, which it recapitalized this past January. 

“At Kingswood, our goal is to make good businesses even better, and The Save Mart Cos. presents us with a great opportunity to do so,” noted Alex Wolf, the firm’s managing partner and founder. “Their 70 years of history in the Central Valley provides a strong foundation for future profitable growth, and we look forward to working with Chris and the team to position these iconic grocery brands for the future.” 

Kirkland and Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Kingswood on the transaction, while Sheppard Mullin was legal advisor and Solomon Partners and North Point were financial advisors to Save Mart.

Based in Modesto, Calif., The Save Mart Cos. operates more than 200 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx. In addition to its retail operation, the company also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries, which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy-processing plant in Turlock, Calif. Save Mart is No. 51 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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