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Fresh and Easy stores get new owner

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(Source: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market) (Source: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A grocery store chain in the Valley is coming under new ownership.

The Yucaipa Companies LLC, a U.S.-based private investment firm, announced Tuesday that it is purchasing Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market from United Kingdom-based Tesco PLC.

Yucaipa expects the purchase to be complete within three months.

Fresh and Easy has 24 locations in the Valley.

Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco, said, "The decision we are announcing today represents the best outcome for Tesco shareholders and Fresh & Easy's stakeholders. It offers us an orderly and efficient exit from the U.S. market, while protecting the jobs of more than 4,000 colleagues at Fresh & Easy."

"We plan on continuing to build Fresh & Easy into a 'next-generation convenience retail experience,' providing busy consumers with more local and healthy access for their daily needs," Ron Burkle, Managing Partner of Yucaipa said.

In January 2012, Fresh and Easy closed four Phoenix stores to save money. The store locations were: 19th Avenue and Glendale, 32nd Street and Greenway, 7th Street and Thunderbird and  83rd Avenue and Camelback.

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