business news in context, analysis with attitude

Fresh Brands, operator of both Piggly Wiggly and Dick’s Supermarkets, announced that it will be acquired by an affiliate of Certified Grocers Midwest for about $100 million in stock.

"We are very excited about combining our company with Certified in this transaction, which will greatly benefit all of our shareholders, franchisees, employees and vendors," said Louis Stinebaugh, Fresh Brands' president/COO. "We believe that this merger provides an opportunity for us to further lower our product costs, realize operating synergies and efficiencies, and deliver an even more effective value proposition to our franchisees and retail customers, while also providing us with greater financial support and flexibility to grow our business in the future.

Ken Koester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Certified, said: "The acquisition of Fresh Brands provides many opportunities to strengthen both organizations. Certified is looking forward to working with the associates of Fresh Brands because both organizations are dedicated to providing independent supermarket operators with excellent service at a low cost. We are owned by successful independent supermarket operators and believe that the enhanced buying power and other benefits of the merger will provide great value and opportunities to the Fresh Brands franchisees as well as the independent supermarket operators that we serve."

The company said it expects the sale to be completed in the first quarter of next year. The transaction value includes assumed debt and other liabilities.
KC's View: