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Aldi to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket

Aldi has agreed to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket as part of a larger divestiture of US supermarket portfolio Southeastern Grocers to various entities. The acquisition – which includes 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations – will expand Aldi’s growth and ability to serve the region. The stores are located in the southeastern US states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi, said: "Like Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the Southeast and we look forward to serving them in the years to come. The time was right to build on our growth momentum and help residents in the Southeast save on their grocery bills. The transaction supports our long-term growth strategy across the United States, including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year to reach a total of more than 2,400 stores by year-end." Aldi first established its presence in southeast US in the mid-1990s and is said to have invested $2.5 billion in the region since. The supermarket recently opened its 26th regional headquarters and distribution centre in Loxley, Alabama, US, with plans to open 20 new Aldi locations in the area by the end of the year. Southeastern Grocers established itself in the region nearly a century ago. It currently operates an omnichannel retailer and a conventional supermarket company in the US, serving customers in brick-and-mortar grocery stores, liquor stores and online with convenient grocery delivery and curbside pickup throughout the region. Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, commented: "This merger agreement is a testament to our successful transformational journey and the tireless work of our dedicated associates who serve our communities. Aldi shares our vision to provide exceptional quality, service and value – and this unique opportunity will evolve our business to benefit our customers, associates and neighbours throughout the Southeast." Hart added: "Aldi will operate Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores with the same level of care and focus on quality and service, as we also evaluate which locations will convert to the Aldi format to better support the neighbourhoods we'll now have the privilege of serving. For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores." Deutsche Bank served as financial advisor to Aldi, Baker & McKenzie as transaction counsel, and Kayne Law Group as real estate counsel. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The news follows Kroger and Albertsons Companies' announcement last October that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which the two companies would merge. Under the terms of the merger, Kroger would acquire the outstanding shares of Albertsons’ common and preferred stock for an estimated consideration of $34.10 per share, implying a total enterprise value of approximately $24.6 billion.

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