Delhaize Group and BI-LO Agree on Non-Binding Offer for Food Lion to Acquire Certain BI-LO Assets
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BRUSSELS, Belgium – Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB - NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announced today that it has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent with BI-LO, LLC to acquire a substantial majority of BI-LO’s assets, including associated inventory, for a purchase price of USD 425 million in cash. This announcement was made in the context of BI-LO’s bankruptcy proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina.
BI-LO is a food retailer that currently operates 214 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia and employs approximately 15 500 people. The company is headquartered in Mauldin, S.C. On March 23, 2009, BI-LO and certain of its affiliates filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina. The included BI-LO assets are estimated to have realized over USD 2 billion in sales in 2008.
Rick Anicetti, Executive Vice President of Delhaize Group and President and CEO of Food Lion, LLC said: “We at Food Lion, LLC have great admiration for the associates and stores at BI-LO. We believe our markets and service philosophy are complementary and we look forward to continuing our discussions with BI-LO.”
The non-binding offer is subject to the satisfactory completion of the customary steps for such an acquisition including certain Bankruptcy Court approvals. Delhaize Group and BI-LO intend to close the transaction shortly after obtaining the entry of a final non-appealable sale order of the bankruptcy court pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, authorizing the transfer of the purchased assets to Food Lion. It is the intent of Delhaize Group to integrate the included BI-LO assets in the network of its wholly owned subsidiary Food Lion, LLC. Food Lion, LLC is a food retailer that has more than 1 300 stores in 11 U.S. states and has more than 74 000 associates.
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