Fresh & Easy stores bought by So Cal billionaire, some store closing

The grocery store chain Fresh & Easy is under new American ownership, according to a Tuesday announcement.

Yucaipa Companies LLC, headed by southern California billionaire Ron Burkle, will buy all but about 50 of the 200 Fresh & Easy stores.

"It offers us an orderly and efficient exit from the US market, while protecting the jobs of more than 4,000 colleagues at Fresh & Easy," Philip Clarke, CEO of Tesco, the United Kingdom-based company that previously owned Fresh & Easy.

With 4,000 jobs saved at 150 locations, about 1,000 jobs are at risk.

An employee at one Bakersfield location said no stores in town are closing.

Some stores in San Francisco and Fresno will be closing. They are closing out their products at 25% off.

The Modesto Bee reported that Fresh & Easy a spokesman said the company is still notifying employees of the Fresno-area stores that will close. More information may be available later Tuesday.

Fresh & Easy is allowing members of its "Friends Rewards" program to cash out points for discounts, regardless of previous eligibility.

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