Boy's Market Agrees to Plan for Buy-Out : Deal Set With Managers, L.A. Merchant Banker

Times Staff Writer

Boy's Market Inc., a family-run company that was started in 1924 by 14-year-old Joe Goldstein as a door-to-door produce-peddling operation and grew into a 43-store chain, said Thursday that it has agreed to be bought by a group of its senior managers and a Los Angeles merchant banking firm.

Terms for the purchase were not released, but a Boy's spokesman did not dispute a previously published figure of $80 million. The company has estimated annual sales of $500 million.

Patrick Barber, director of strategic planning at Boy's, said Riordan Freeman & Spogli, the merchant banker, plans to leave the current management in place. Top executives include Joe Goldstein's three surviving younger brothers--Albert, Eddie and Bernard--a son, Robert, and Peter Sodino, president and chief executive.

Barber added that the sale is expected to be completed about the first of April.

Joe Goldstein, who died last October, arrived from Illinois about 1915. By 1924, with his father dead, Joe found himself the sole supporter of his mother, four brothers and two sisters.

Door-to-Door Sales

Enlisting his brothers' aid, he opened a produce stand on Telegraph Road in Los Angeles and sold products door to door. In the neighborhood, the Goldstein brothers became known simply as "the boys." During the early 1930s, the company went into a growth spurt.

Of its 43 stores, about 35% are in black, Latino and Asian neighborhoods, Barber said. With the exception of the Pomona store in San Bernardino County, all stores are in Los Angeles County. The company, which has about 4,000 employees and is headquartered in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles, plans to open four new stores this year, Barber said.

As part of its strategy, Boy's heavily advertises certain products at deep discounts.

"Each store is individually merchandised, whether to Koreans at 8th and Western, Hispanics at 11th and Hoover or blacks at Vermont and Slauson," Barber said.

Last August, Grocers' Spotlight, a trade publication, estimated Boy's market share in Los Angeles at 2.8%.

According to Barber, Joe Goldstein initiated the sale process last June, enlisting the Los Angeles office of First Boston Corp. to seek bids.

The sole business of Riordan Freeman & Spogli, founded in 1983, is the acquisition of companies in conjunction with management, a spokesman said. Among other acquisitions it has organized have been those of P&C; Food Markets of Syracuse, N.Y., and A. J. Bayless Markets in Phoenix.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World