Bi-Lo buying Winn-Dixie for $560M

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Published: December 19,2011

Tags: acquisitions, food, grocers, grocery stores, mergers, retail

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The supermarket chain Winn-Dixie is being sold for $560 million to Bi-Lo LLC, the companies said today, creating a large grocery operator in the South.

The combined company will have about 690 stores and 63,000 workers in eight states in the southern U.S. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. will become a privately held subsidiary and its ticker will be removed from the Nasdaq.

Each Winn-Dixie stockholder gets $9.50 per share in cash, a 75 percent premium to the Jacksonville, Fla., company’s Friday closing stock price.

Bi-Lo, based in Greenville, S.C., runs 207 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

Winn-Dixie runs about 480 grocery stores, including approximately 380 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. It has about 46,000 employees.

The companies said today that no store closings are expected and the name Winn-Dixie will remain because of its strong brand recognition in the South.

“With no overlap in our markets, the combined company will have a perfect geographic fit that will create a stronger platform from which to provide our customers great products at a great value, while continuing to offer exceptional service,” said Bi-Lo Chairman Randall Onstead.

The acquisition is not subject to any financing conditions.

Winn-Dixie’s board has unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in the next 60 to 120 days.

The management structure and headquarters location have yet to be determined, but the companies anticipate keeping locations in both Greenville and Jacksonville.

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