Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WIN) yesterday announced that it has received approval from the bankruptcy court to purchase 68 grocery stores and 32 fuel centers from Jitney-Jungle Stores of America, Inc. and related companies. Closing is planned for January of 2001 subject to final governmental approval. The Jitney-Jungle companies, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, have been operating under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, since October 12, 1999.
Four stores were removed from the list that Winn-Dixie originally agreed to purchase. These were Delchamps stores located at 171 Porter Ave, Biloxi, MS; 65 Poincianna Blvd., San Destin, FL; 334 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL and 1104 John Sims Parkway, Niceville, FL.
Fifty-four of the grocery stores are located in Mississippi, eleven in Alabama and three in Louisiana. Most of the stores will become part of Winn-Dixie’s Louisiana division, and will continue to operate under their current Jitney Jungle, Jitney Premier, Sack & Save, MegaMarket, and Pump & Save banners. Average size of the stores is approximately 34,100 square feet. Winn-Dixie will interview all of the employees at the stores to be acquired and plans to hire substantially all of the 5,300 retail employees at these stores.
Winn-Dixie has agreed to pay approximately $80.2 million plus inventory for the stores which currently generate approximately $625 million in annual sales. When completed, the transaction is projected to generate additional annualized earnings per share of 12 to14 cents beginning in the Company’s fourth fiscal quarter. “We are pleased that the purchase has been approved,” said Allen R. Rowland, Winn-Dixie President and Chief Executive Officer. “These stores are a good strategic fit and give us excellent market share in new markets. Adding excellent retail store management and employees to our Company is also exciting. The synergies of the excess retail support center capacity, our manufacturing operations and Winn-Dixie’s buying power should provide positive results for the Company.”
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc, (NYSE: WIN), is one of the nation’s largest supermarket retailers, with over 1,000 stores in 14 states and the Bahamas. 2000 marks the Company’s 75th anniversary. For more information on Winn-Dixie, visit its official website at http://www.winn-dixie.com.
This news release contains forward-looking information and statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Therefore, this news release should be read in conjunction with the reports the Company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.