mi puebloNew York-based investment firm KKR plans to merge Ontario, Calif.-based Cardenas Markets with San Jose, Calif.-based Mi Pueblo under a new name, with a sole CEO.

KKR invested in both retailers last year, along with Victory Park Capital, according to a news release. The combined Cardenas and Mi Pueblo will operate under Cardenas Markets LLC, with Cardenas CEO John Gomez retaining that position under the combined business.

Each banner will operate separately, managed under one executive team, according to news release.

“Regardless of acculturation level or language preference, Hispanic people use food as a vehicle to connect with their culture and heritage,” Gomez said, in a news release. “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.”

The combined business will “maximize efficiencies” and deliver a “more enjoyable” shopping experience for customers, the company said in a news release.

“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,” said Vishal Patel, director at KKR, in a news release. “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.”

Mi Pueblo, which was established in 1991, emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2014. It and operates 15 stores in the Bay Area. Cardenas Markets 31 stores in the Inland Empire Imperial County, Pomona and Las Vegas.

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