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Bi-Lo/Delhaize deal gets FTC approval
February 26th, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Federal Trade Commission has approved the acquisition by Bi-Lo Holdings LLC of three southeastern supermarket banners from Delhaize Group. However, Bi-Lo will have to divest 12 stores in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The agreement, announced last May, called for Bi-Lo to pay $265 million in cash for 155 stores operating under the Sweetbay (72 stores), Harveys (72 stores) and Reid’s (11 stores) banners. Bi-Lo also acquired leases for 10 prior Sweetbay locations, but Delhaize retained the distribution center that had serviced the Sweetbay stores.
In addition to the divestitures, Delhaize will retain two stores, a Reid’s located in Hampton, S.C., and a Harveys in Americus, Ga., that were included in the original deal and convert them to the Food Lion banner. Four former Sweetbay stores in Florida are being acquired by Rowe’s IGA LLC, while three Harveys locations in Georgia will be sold to HAC Inc., an employee-owned supermarket operator, and converted to its Food World banner. Based in Oklahoma, HAC operates 82 stores in that state as well as Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Texas.
Two additional Harveys, one in Florida and one in Georgia, will be acquired by Food Giant Supermarkets Inc. and operated under that banner, while two others in Georgia will be purchased by W. Lee Flowers and Co. and converted to the KJ’s Market IGA banner. A single Reid’s location is also being purchased by Flowers for conversion to the KJ’s Market banner.
The terms of the transaction are incorporated in a consent order accepted by the FTC for public comment on February 25. The order is subject to final FTC approval after a 30-day comment period. The divestiture of the 12 stores is expected to be completed between March 22 and May 31, subject to fulfillment of remaining closing conditions.