US: Bi-Lo to keep Harveys banner; discard Sweetbay, Reid's

By Dean Best | 9 October 2013

US retailer Bi-Lo is to hold on to the Harvey's banner but discard Sweetbay and Reid's once it closes its deal to buy the chains from Delhaize Group.

Bi-Lo struck a deal to acquire the stores from Belgium-based Delhaize for US$265m in May and, ahead of the agreement being finalised, the company set out its plans for the chains.

Reid's stores will be converted to the Bi-Lo banner. Sweetbay outlets will switch to Bi-Lo's Winn-Dixie chain. The retailer said the "majority" of the Harveys stores will keep the name, although "a few" will become Winn-Dixies or Bi-Los.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Two weeks ago, the owner of Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie said it would list the combined business as Southeastern Grocers.

Investment vehicle Lone Star Funds is looking to raise as much as US$500m, according to a prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. That estimate has been used to calculate fees and could change.

Lone Star owns 100% of the business but it is unclear how big its stake will be after the IPO. However, according to the prospectus, the retailer expects to be a "controlled company" - indicating Lone Star expects to remain a major shareholder.

Show the press release

Bi-Lo Holdings To Rebanner Sweetbay And Reid's Stores; Harveys Banner To Continue

Anticipated conversions to begin in early 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bi-Lo Holdings, LLC ("Bi-Lo Holdings"), parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie supermarket chains, today announced its intent to continue the Harveys banner name and retire the Sweetbay and Reid's banner names following the close of its transaction with Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB – NYSE: DEG) ("Delhaize"), parent company of Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's supermarket chains.

"Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's have outstanding reputations, and their talented teams of associates have played a key role in making these stores an important part of the communities they serve," said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings. "We are pleased to soon welcome the outstanding associates of all three chains to the Bi-Lo Holdings family."

Upon the close of the transaction, Sweetbay stores will convert to the Winn-Dixie banner and Reid's stores will convert to the BI-LO banner. Pending regulatory review, Bi-Lo Holdings intends to retain all store-level associates within the stores being acquired and operated.

The majority of Harveys stores will remain branded as they are today, though a few Harveys stores may convert to the Winn-Dixie or BI-LO banner or vice versa. Conversion of the banner names is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

The transitioning of Sweetbay and Reid's stores to Winn-Dixie and BI-LO banners respectively is to reduce overlapping footprints. There is little overlap between BI-LO, Winn-Dixie and Harveys stores. Through this transaction, we will be able to provide our great products at a great value to a broader base of customers.

In May 2013, Bi-Lo Holdings and Delhaize entered into a definitive agreement under which Bi-Lo Holdings will acquire substantially all of the stores in the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's supermarket chains from Delhaize. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2014 and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Until the transaction is complete, Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's will continue to operate independently from Bi-Lo Holdings and its subsidiaries.

Original source: Bi-Lo Holdings

Sectors: Retail

Companies: Winn-Dixie, Delhaize Group, Bi-Lo

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