NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Fresh Market (TFM) are soaring 23.41% to $28.36 on heavy trading volume Monday afternoon after the Greensboro, NC-based grocery retailer agreed to be bought by private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO) for about $1.36 billion.

Apollo will pay $28.50 per share in cash for the specialty grocery chain, a premium of about 24% of Fresh Market's close on Friday.

Fresh Market's board unanimously approved the deal, except for chairman and founder Ray Berry. He recused himself from all discussions related to the review of strategic alternatives and from voting on the agreement, the company said.

Berry and his son Brett, who collectively own about 9.8% of Fresh Market's outstanding shares, won't sell any of their shares, but will roll their investment into the Apollo funds, the New York Times noted.

"We are excited about this transaction with Apollo, which recognizes the value of The Fresh Market's strong brand and significant growth prospects while providing stockholders with an immediate and substantial premium," Fresh Market CEO and President Rick Anicetti said in a statement.

The company operates 186 stores in 26 states.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

About 25.99 million of the company's shares were traded by this afternoon, well above its average volume of 892,950 shares per day.

Shares of Apollo are higher by 0.03% to $16.91 on Monday afternoon.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C on the stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures.

As a counter to these strengths, the team also finds weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: TFM

Image placeholder title