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Ruddick Corp., the parent company of Southeast regional grocer Harris Teeter, has entered into a definitive agreement with two newly formed affiliates of New York-based KPS Capital Partners, LP to sell all of its ownership interest in its wholly owned subsidiary, American & Efird Inc. (A&E) for $180 million in cash.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of Ruddick’s fiscal 2012, which ends Jan. 1, 2012, and is subject to closing conditions.
“This transaction allows the management team and their associates at A&E to continue to pursue their strategic plan of transforming A&E into a more Asian-centric enterprise, which has been years in the making,” explained Thomas W. Dickson, chairman, president and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Ruddick. “As A&E’s business has grown substantially in Asia, it has become less of a domestic company and more of a complex international manufacturing company, and its strategic fit with Harris Teeter has become less evident to our shareholders.”
Added Dickson: “This transaction enhances the strategic plan for Ruddick and Harris Teeter as the cash proceeds from the sale can be utilized for numerous purposes, including the acceleration of new store growth and the repayment of debt.”
Wells Fargo Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to Ruddick, with McGuireWoods LLP serving as legal counsel.