Cardenas Markets and Mi Pueblo, two Hispanic grocery chains in which global investment firm KKR made significant investments last year alongside Victory Park Capital, have merged. The combined business will operate as Cardenas Markets LLC and will become one of the largest Hispanic supermarket chains in the country. Each grocery chain will continue to operate separately, but will be managed under one executive team led by CEO John Gomez.
“Regardless of acculturation level or language preference, Hispanic people use food as a vehicle to connect with their culture and heritage. This is a growing demographic, not only in size, but also in influence as well, and I am proud to be working with two leading retailers to offer the best shopping experience to our communities in Northern and Southern California, as well as Las Vegas,” said Gomez.
The launch of Cardenas Markets LLC will make it possible for both businesses to maximize efficiencies, offer competitive prices for quality products and invest in the store experiences to further improve the service and quality that customers have come to know, according to a KKR press release. The combined company also will focus on growth opportunities for team members and offer extensive training programs to improve their skills.
“Cardenas Markets and Mi Pueblo are committed to the communities they serve and through this integration will be able to better deliver for those communities. With a vision of becoming the leading Hispanic grocer in the country, Cardenas Markets LLC will continue to prioritize their loyal customers through the company’s continued growth, while creating jobs and offering rewarding career paths for employees along the way,” said Vishal Patel of KKR.
The company has planned a number of new store openings over the next few years. With locations throughout California and Nevada, Cardenas Markets LLC also plans to explore opportunities to expand the company’s footprint across other key Hispanic markets.
Cardenas Markets is headquartered in Ontario, California, and has been in operation since 1981. It has 31 stores throughout Southern California and Nevada. Mi Pueblo, established in 1991, operates 15 stores in Northern California’s Bay Area, Monterey Peninsula and Central Valley.
KKR’s investment in Cardenas Markets and Mi Pueblo is primarily from its 11th Americas Private Equity investment fund. Victory Park Capital’s investment is held by the firm’s Special Opportunities Fund II, which has owned Mi Pueblo since May 2014.