The supermarket arena is set to get a bigger player in the Southeast.

Southeast, BI-LO LLC, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., Peter Lynch, chairman and chief executive officer, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi

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Inside This Issue - News

New retail power emerges in Southeast

January 9th, 2012

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The supermarket arena is set to get a bigger player in the Southeast.

BI-LO LLC plans to acquire Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. in a $560 million cash deal, creating one of the nation’s largest grocery chains, with about 690 stores in eight states and approximately 63,000 employees.

The agreement, unveiled in late December, is expected to close in 60 to 120 days. Winn-Dixie shareholders will get $9.50 in cash per share of common stock, a premium of about 75%. With the merger, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie will become a private company.

"With no overlap in our markets, the combined company will have a perfect geographic fit that will create a stronger platform to provide customers great products at a great value while continuing to offer exceptional service," stated Randall Onstead, chairman of Greenville-based BI-LO. "BI-LO and Winn-Dixie are strong regional brands with similar heritages, compelling customer connections and outstanding employees."

Plans call for the two retailers to continue to operate under the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie banners once the deal is finalized. No store closings are expected as a result of the merger.

A combined executive management team and headquarters location will be determined as the transaction nears completion, but the merged company is expected to maintain a presence in Greenville and Jacksonville, according to BI-LO and Winn-Dixie.

"This transaction with BI-LO provides Winn-Dixie shareholders with a significant cash premium for their shares," commented Peter Lynch, chairman and chief executive officer of Winn-Dixie. "We believe this transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders. By combining BI-LO and Winn-Dixie, we anticipate building a company that is stronger than our individual businesses and creating opportunities for continued advancement through the cross-pollination of our people and the sharing of ideas across our organizations."

BI-LO operates 207 supermarkets, including 116 in-store pharmacies, in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, and employs approximately 17,000 people.

Winn-Dixie operates about 480 supermarkets, including 380 with in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi, and employs approximately 46,000 people.