Smart & Final will soon have a new owner. ( Ashley Nickle )

Apollo Global Management plans to purchase for a second time Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final, which manages 324 stores.

The investment firm is paying $6.50 a share for the retailer, approximately $1.1 billion, according to a news release. The deal is expected to close by the third quarter of 2019.

Smart & Final operates 257 stores under that banner, including its larger Smart & Final Extra! format, which has warehouse offerings as well as traditional grocery. The company also operates 67 stores under the Smart Foodservice banner, which is designed to serve restaurants, caterers and other businesses.

“This transaction is a testament to the strength of Smart & Final’s franchise, the quality of our store banners and the talent and expertise of our people,” Smart & Final CEO David Hirz said in the release. “Under the ownership of the Apollo Funds, Smart & Final will benefit from Apollo’s strategic guidance, which will help us accelerate our existing strategy in a dynamic industry environment.

“We are excited about the future as we embark on a new chapter in our almost 150-year history, with a strategic partner that understands our strengths, culture and customer-centric philosophy,” Hirz said. “We would like to thank (previous owner) Ares Management for its partnership and support in helping us grow our business to where we are today.”

Smart & Final has been owned by Ares since November 2012, when it was sold by Apollo, which had owned Smart & Final since 2007.

“We are very excited for our funds to be re-acquiring Smart & Final and expect to leverage Apollo’s deep expertise and history of success in food retail to support the company as it embarks on its next chapter,” Andrew Jhawar, senior partner and head of the consumer and retail group at Apollo, said in the release. “The unique differentiation and strong value proposition of both the Smart & Final and Smart Foodservice banners are evident to us, and we welcome the opportunity to augment and enhance the experience for the company’s household and business customers. We look forward to working with the management team as well as the over 12,000 team members to capitalize on the company’s position in the marketplace.”

For more photos of the Smart & Final Extra! in Las Vegas, check out this album on the Produce Retailer Flickr.