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SEATTLE - The shareholders of regional wholesaler Associated Grocers, Inc., approved the sale of the company to Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, Calif. during a special meeting held here last week.
In agreeing to sell the company, AG shareholders also voted to dissolve the company effective with closing of the transaction, which is expected prior to Oct. 1.
The approval of these measures by AG's shareholders will create a $4 billion dollar wholesale grocery company that, according to Unified, will have the size and scale to enhance the competitiveness of independent grocers throughout the western United States.
"The strong, positive statement made by our shareholders in exceeding the necessary votes for approval of the sale reflects the many months of hard work and due diligence by both companies to ensure our customers have a strong and competitive supply channel well into the future," said John Runyan, president and c.e.o., Associated Grocers.
Last week's vote was another step toward completing the sale process, which was initiated on May 7, 2007 when a letter of understanding between the two companies was signed. On Aug. 2, AG and Unified signed an asset purchase agreement in which Unified agreed to purchase certain assets and assume certain liabilities of AG.
"With the closing of the transaction nearing, we are anxious to blend the expertise and strength of our retail members in both companies to create the strongest independent retail grocery organization in the West," said Alfred A. Plamann, president and c.e.o., Unified Grocers.
Associated Grocers, Inc. is a wholesaler providing food, nonfood, general merchandise, and retail services to more than 320 stores throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Rim.
Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the Western United States, and along with its subsidiaries generated approximately $3 billion in sales during fiscal 2006.