• The Street reports that United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) said yesterday that "it expected to operate its Cub Foods banner and some Shopper Food stores for up to 24 months and delayed a planned sale."
Some context from the story:
"United Natural Foods said in December that it had agreed to sell 13 of its 43 Shoppers Food stores, with the transactions expected to close by the end of February. In March, the company said that it would market the remaining stores to 'several potential buyers.'
"During a conference call with analysts, Steven Spinner, chairman and CEO, said that as an interim step, it was 'in the process of separating Cub from United Natural Foods, which means Cub will operate more as a freestanding entity than it does today, with its own dedicated resources once the separation is complete.' Spinner said it could take up to a year for Cub/Shoppers to become a freestanding operation."
The Street notes that UNFI reported net income of $88.1 million for the most recent quarter, compared with $57.1 million in the year-earlier quarter. Sales totaled $6.67 billion, up from $5.96 billion a year earlier.
• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that Tyson Foods "said it is cooperating in a Justice Department price-fixing investigation under a leniency program that will allow the company to avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for aiding in the continuing probe of other poultry suppliers.
After receiving a grand-jury subpoena in April 2019, Tyson discovered that some of its employees were implicated in the alleged scheme. The company said it approached the Justice Department, disclosing its own actions and seeking leniency."
The story goes on to point out that "Tyson’s public acknowledgment of its role in the investigation comes a week after four chicken-industry executives, including employees of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Claxton Poultry Farms, were indicted on charges of price fixing and bid rigging. The Justice Department alleged chicken-company executives and employees for years exchanged details of their own pricing and that of competitors via phone calls and text messages, at the same time that they were negotiating supply deals with restaurants."