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Supervalu expands wholesale reach through Associated Grocers of Florida acquisition


 MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Wednesday announced its acquisition of Associated Grocers of Florida in a transaction valued at approximately $180 million.

"Associated Grocers represents a great opportunity for us to further expand our wholesale business into another important region," stated Mark Gross, president and CEO Supervalu. "Christopher Miller and his talented team have done outstanding work to build and support a dynamic and diverse retailer base. We're looking forward to welcoming the strengths and talents of the Associated Grocers team to Supervalu and working together so that, once the transaction is complete, we can bring the benefits of our combined scale and expertise to their customers to help them better compete in the evolving grocery industry."

This transaction, which was approved by each company's board of directors,  provides Supervalu with the ability to expand its operations into a new part of Florida as well as provides new opportunities to bring Supervalu's products and services to Associated Grocers' diverse customer base in South Florida, the Caribbean and other international markets. Additionally, as part of the pending transaction, Supervalu has reached a long-term supply agreement with Associated Grocers' largest customer that will go into effect upon the closing of the transaction.

During Associated Grocers' last fiscal year, which ended on July 29, 2017, Associated Grocers' revenues were approximately $650 million, estimated by Supervalu under its accounting policies.

In addition to announcing its proposed acquisition of Associated Grocers, Supervalu also reported second quarter fiscal 2018 consolidated net sales of $3.8 billion, an increase of $995 million or 35%. “We continue to make tremendous strides in driving our strategy, evidenced by another quarter of strong growth from our core wholesale business which now represents over 70% of net sales,” Gross said. “Additionally, our results now include the benefit of Unified Grocers, where I'm pleased that the transition is going well. We have a lot to be excited about as we turn our focus toward the back half of our fiscal year.”

Total net sales within the wholesale segment increased 58%. Retail identical store sales were negative 3.5%. Second quarter Retail net sales were $1 billion, a decrease of 1.1%.

Founded in 1945, Associated Grocers is a retailer-owned cooperative that distributes full lines of grocery and general merchandise to independent retailers, primarily in South Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia. Associated Grocers' customer base of conventional, specialty and ethnic stores includes an exciting mix of multi-cultural independent grocers that complements Supervalu's customer base.

The Associated Grocers transaction is currently expected to close by the end of calendar year 2017, subject to approval by Associated Grocers' shareholders and other customary closing conditions. Following completion of the merger, Associated Grocers will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Supervalu.

Faegre Baker Daniels and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton acted as Supervalu's legal counsel. RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to Associated Grocers of Florida and Akerman acted as Associated Grocers' legal counsel.


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