Why Supervalu is buying Unified Grocers

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Why Supervalu is buying Unified Grocers


The company has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Unified Grocers in a transaction valued at approximately $375 million.

The transaction will bring together two highly complementary grocery wholesale organizations with combined sales of approximately $16 billion in 2016. Together, Supervalu and Unified operate 24 distribution centers supplying customers in 46 states and serve a combined customer base of over 3,000 stores. The combined company will be uniquely positioned to efficiently serve a broad range of independent customers and offer a diverse array of value added services, helping customers compete in an increasingly demanding grocery environment. The acquisition also provides new growth opportunities across multiple geographies, including the expansion of Unified’s Market Centre division, a growing business providing specialty and ethnic products to independent customers.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to bring together these two great organizations,” said Mark Gross, Supervalu’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “By acquiring the Unified business, including gaining a wealth of expertise and talent, we will become a stronger and more efficient organization. The transaction will enhance our ability to help our customers better compete in the evolving grocery industry. We’re also excited to serve Unified’s dynamic retailer base. Unified’s Members and customers operate some of the country’s most exciting and progressive Hispanic and multiple other ethnic formats, specialty, gourmet, natural/organic, price impact and traditional stores. They complement our existing customer base and we look forward to facilitating collaboration and innovation across such an impressive collection of creative merchants.”
The purchase of Unified represents a push into the West Coast for Supervalu's distribution business, which chiefly operates in the Midwest and parts of the East and Southeast. It operates a single distribution center on the West Coast in Tacoma, Wash.
The transaction, which was unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors, is currently expected to close in mid-to-late summer 2017, subject to approval by Unified’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. 
“We believe this transaction will benefit the Members and customers of Unified Grocers as they look for new and innovative ways to serve the communities in which they operate,” said Unified Grocers’ President and CEO, Bob Ling. “Supervalu and Unified share a common vision of providing best-in-class services and products to the independent grocer. The cultural fit between Supervalu and Unified well positions the combined company to pursue a shared dedication and commitment to growth and innovation, providing increased value to customers.”