Bi-Lo converts Harveys, Winn-Dixie stores to new banners
Jacksonville, Fla. — Bi-Lo Holdings, LLC, parent company of Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie supermarket chains, is converting seven existing Harveys stores to Winn-Dixie stores and three existing Winn-Dixie stores to Harveys stores. These stores are part of the pending acquisition of 134 operating stores from Delhaize Group.
Harveys stores in Brunswick, St. Marys and Valdosta, Ga. are affected, as are Winn-Dixie stores in Americus, Albany, and Leesburg, Ga.
Bi-Lo Holdings intends to hire all of the store-level associates in good standing. Schedules and timelines for store conversions will be announced at a later time. Last month, Bi-Lo Holdings received approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to proceed with the transaction to acquire the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s supermarket chains from Delhaize Group pending the divestiture of 12 stores by Bi-Lo Holdings and Delhaize Group retaining two stores and converting them to the Food Lion banner.
“We carefully evaluated the market areas around each store and made conversion decisions that we believe will work best for customers,” said R. Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings. “Customers will not see any change to the level of quality they have come to expect from either banner.”
Board changes at Supervalu in wake of acquisition
New York — Supervalu directors Mark Neporent and Lenard Tessler have stepped down from the company’s board of directors as a result of Cerberus-owned Albertsons’ deal to acquire Safeway.
Neporent and Tessler were both appointed to the Supervalu board in 2013 as designees of Symphony Investors, a Cerberus Capital Management L.P.-led investor consortium. Symphony Investors owns approximately 20.9% of Supervalu’s outstanding common stock, and has the right to designate replacement directors for Neporent and Tessler.
Neporent is the chief operating officer and general counsel for Cerberus Capital Management. Tessler is the co-head of global private equity and senior managing director of Cerberus Capital Management.
“In light of the transaction announced today, we felt it was in the best interests of Supervalu for us to resign our seats on the Supervalu board,” said Neporent. “The directors who will be designated to replace Lenard and me under the tender offer agreement are expected to be independent of both Cerberus and Supervalu and will add to Supervalu’s outstanding board.”
News of the transaction broke late Thursday. AB Acquisition will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway in a deal valued at more than $9.1 billion.
“I would like to thank Mark and Lenard for serving on Supervalu’s board of directors and for their important contributions during the transition period following the banner sale,” said Supervalu’s non-executive chairman Gerald Storch. “We look forward to working with Cerberus to identify two new, highly qualified director designees to replace Mark and Lenard, and who will help to lead our organization into the future.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
“I also would like to thank Mark and Lenard for their service. As the process moves forward to designate new directors, we are continuing our focus on driving sales and serving all of our customers, including providing services under the transition services agreements with Albertsons and New Albertsons,” added Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan.
Supervalu’s board currently has nine members, including seven members who are independent directors under the New York Stock Exchange listing standards.
Report: Multi-state shoplifting ring busted
Northbrook, Ill. – The U.S. Secret Service has reportedly arrested three members of a family living in Northbrook, Ill., for running a sophisticated shoplifting ring that stole items from stores ranging from Maryland to Texas during the past 10 years.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Branko Bogdanov, 58, wife Lela, 52, and their daughter, Julia, 34, have spent the past decade using specially altered clothing to steal merchandise from retailers including Startbucks, Toys “R” Us, and Barnes & Noble. The three reportedly stole $7.1 million worth of merchandise and resold it for $4.2 million on EBay. Federal authorities were alerted to unusual EBay activity and then followed the Bogdanovs on a four-day shoplifting spree through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, arresting the family in New Orleans on March 4.
The family faces a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property and may face additional charges. It is unknown if any of the Bogdanovs are U.S. citizens.