IPO Report: Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM)

Francis Gaskins |


Sprouts Farmers Markets ($SFM) is a specialty food retailer that competes with Whole Foods (WFM) , Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC) , Trader Joes and some Target markets.  SFM stores are clustered in the southwest.

As of July 19, 2013, SFM had 163 stores located in eight states.

SIx other IPOs were scheduled for the week of July 29. The full IPO calendar can be found at IPOpremium.

SFM is based in Phoenix, AZ, and scheduled a $278 million IPO with a market capitalization of $2.16 bilion at a price point mid-range of $15, for Thursday, August 1. 2013.

S-1 filed July 22, 2013

Manager, Joint Managers:  Goldman; Credit Suisse; BofA Merrill
Co-Managers:  Apollo Global; Barclays;Deutsche; UBS; Guggenheim; Wolfe Research Securities


Valuation Ratios


Price /

Price /

Price /

Price /


annualizing Q1 ’13

Cap (mm)






Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM)







Whole Foods (WFM)







Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC)








SFM is priced at a price-to-sales and P/E discount relative to WFM and NGVC.


Buy SFM on the IPO.

Half the stores were not Sprouts Stores

In 2002, Sprouts Farmers Markets, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company opened the first Sprouts Farmers Market store in Chandler, Arizona. In 2011, SFM was formed when Sprouts Arizona combined with Henry’s Holdings, LLC,  which operated 35 Henry’s Farmers Markets stores and eight Sun Harvest Market stores. 

The Henry’s Transaction was led by investment funds affiliated with, and co-investment vehicles managed by, Apollo Management VI, L.P. The Apollo Funds are affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC.  In May 2012, SFM acquired Sunflower Farmers Market, Inc., which operated 37 Sunflower Farmers Market stores.

There were 80 non-Sprout stores which are now being marketed as ‘Sprout’ stores, out of 154 total stores as March 31, 2013.


SFM’s business is subject to modest seasonality. Average weekly sales fluctuate throughout the year and are typically highest in the first half of the fiscal year. Produce, which contributes 25% of net sales, is generally more available in the first six months of the fiscal year due to the timing of peak growing seasons.


Competition includes conventional supermarkets such as Kroger and Safeway, as well as other food retailers such as Whole Foods, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Trader Joe’s.  In some markets Target is also a competitor.

5% stockholders pre-IPO

Apollo Funds, 52%
SFM Liquidating Trust, 36%
KMCP Grocery Investors, LLC, 7%

Use of proceeds

SFM expects to net $248 million from the IPO from selling 17.7 million shares.  Shareholders expect to sell 797,785 shares.

Proceeds are allocated to repay debt.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
NGVC Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. 12.05 0.01 0.08 56,050
RYOOF Rio Silver Inc 0.10 0.00 0.00 0
SFM Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. 21.21 -0.21 -0.98 2,914,061
WFM Whole Foods Market Inc. 28.08 -0.21 -0.74 3,790,806


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