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Fresh Market Seeks $264 Million in U.S. Initial Public Offering

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Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Fresh Market Inc., a retailer that sells premium perishable foods, will seek to raise as much as $264 million in a U.S. initial public offering on Nov. 4.

The grocer will offer 13.2 million shares at $18 to $20 each with an overallotment option of 1.98 million shares, according to a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission and data compiled by Bloomberg.

Fresh Market is planning to sell shares at a time when the U.S. IPO market is rebounding. Last week, five of the six offerings posted gains of at least 13 percent in their first day of trading, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above its highest close since September 2008. Six more IPOs are scheduled for this week, with companies seeking to raise as much as $1.1 billion, the most since July.

All the shares in the offering are being sold by company shareholders, and Fresh Market won’t receive any proceeds from the sale, the prospectus showed. Directors and executives account for 84 percent of the grocer’s shares up for sale, with Chairman and founder Ray Berry, 70, selling 3.5 million shares to trim his holding to 18 percent from 30 percent.

Fresh Market’s net income more than doubled to $49.2 million between 2005 and 2009. The retailer posted a profit of $30.2 million in the first six months of this year. Fresh Market carried $93.8 million of long-term debt as of June 27, the filing showed.

Plans to Expand

The grocer, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, opened its first store in 1982 and now has 100 locations in 20 states, mainly in the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions and focusing on fresh produce, according to the prospectus. Fresh Market has tripled the number of stores since 2000 and plans to continue expanding, estimating the U.S. market can accommodate 500 of its outlets, the share-sale document said.

Fresh Market will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker TFM. Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are leading the offering.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net. Cecile Vannucci in New York at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Hauck at dhauck1@bloomberg.net; Kevin Miller at kmiller@bloomberg.net.

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