Warehouse store chain Smart & Final files for IPO

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Smart & Final Stores Inc., a warehouse store operator, announced plans Friday to launch an initial public offering.

The company operates 247 stores in the Western U.S. under the Smart & Final and Cash & Carry names. Its stores sell discounted groceries, cleaning supplies and other items in bulk, similar to Costco or Sam's Club. One main difference is that Smart & Final does not charge customers annual membership fees to shop at its stores.

For the purposes of its filing, Smart & Final said it could raise up to $100 million, but that estimate is likely to change as bankers gauge investor interest. The Commerce, California-based company plans to use the proceeds from the offering to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.

It did not forecast when the IPO would occur. The company is backed by private equity firm Ares Management.

It said it expects its stock symbol to be "SFS," but didn't name a stock exchange it would trade at yet.