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October 9, 2013

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

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.

By Dean Best

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.

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