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ELGIN, Ill. -- Confirming speculation in press reports last week, Paul Butera, owner of Butera Marke, and a longtime member of local co-op Certified Grocers Midwest, said yesterday he has received the final go-ahead to acquire the balance of outstanding shares of Certifresh Holdings, Inc., an entity formed in 2005 to take the then-public Fresh Brands, Inc. private. Fresh Brands supplies 95 corporate and franchise stores operating under the Piggly Wiggly trade name in the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.
On Sept. 28 shareholders approved the sale of Certifresh Holdings, Inc. to a newly created entity led by Paul Butera. With this vote, the Butera family will acquire complete control of the company, from their previously held ownership position of about 15 percent. Paul Butera will be joined on this venture by several members of his family who have also grown up in the grocery business.
Butera already serves as c.e.o. and chairman of the board for Fresh Brands, Inc., as well as chairman of both Certified Grocers Midwest and the Butera Market chain of 10 stores, headquartered in Elgin, Ill. With this acquisition, the Butera family will own 36 stores, surpassing the 27 local store sites operating under the Butera Finer Foods banner in the early 1980s. With the inclusion of the franchised stores, Butera will oversee the operation of more than 100 stores.