In athat will bring together two of the South's largest grocery chains, Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie Stores have agreed to merge to form a network of about 690 stores across eight Southeastern states.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Bi-Lo, based in Mauldin, S.C., will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Winn-Dixie stock in the merger for $9.50 per share, or about $560 million, the two companies said Monday. The offer represents a 75 percent premium to Winn-Dixie's closing price on Friday.
"We are very excited about the merger of Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie," said Randall Onstead, chairman of Bi-Lo, in a prepared statement. "With no overlap in our markets, the combined company will have a perfect geographic fit that will create a stronger platform from which to provide our customers great products at a great value, while continuing to offer exceptional service. Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie are both strong regional brands with similar heritages, compelling customer connections, and outstanding employees."
"This transaction with Bi-Lo provides Winn-Dixie shareholders with a significant cash premium for their shares," said Peter Lynch, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Winn-Dixie. "We believe this transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders. By combining Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie, we anticipate building a company that is stronger than our individual businesses and creating opportunities for continued advancement through the cross-pollination of our people and the sharing of ideas across our organizations, all to the benefit of our guests, suppliers, team members and the neighborhoods that Winn-Dixie serves."
A special committee of the Winn-Dixie board of directors, advised by independentand legal advisors, negotiated the transaction and recommended it to the full board. The full board unanimously approved the agreement and recommended Winn-Dixie shareholders vote in favor of the transaction, the companies said Monday.
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