Fresh Market Shares Soar on Report Founder Is Exploring Bid

Fresh Market Inc. shares jumped 7.8 percent on a report that founder and Chairman Ray Berry is exploring a bid for the grocery chain.

Berry is looking into a buyout with help from private-equity firms, according to a report from Reuters, which cited people familiar with the discussions. Berry, who owns 4.1 percent of the company, also may team up on a deal with son-in-law Michael Barry, who has a 6.4 percent stake, Reuters said. No offer has been made, and a deal may not come together, according to the report.

Apollo Global Management has agreed to work with Berry on a possible transaction, Reuters said.

The stock rose to $26.19 in New York on Friday, the biggest one-day gain in more than a year. Shares of the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company had been down 41 percent this year through Thursday’s close.

The report caps a turbulent week for the supermarket industry. Albertsons Cos. delayed its initial public offering on Wednesday, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. suffered its worst one-day stock decline in 27 years after warning of a profit decline.

Fresh Market didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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