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    IGA Expands Presence in Brazil

    CHICAGO -- IGA, the world's largest voluntary supermarket network, said yesterday it has franchised 60 more stores in Brazil. The stores are the result of a new organization named Union Brazil Supermarkets, developed through the partnership of independent retailers and two retail cooperatives, RedeShow IGA and Multi Market IGA.

    CHICAGO -- IGA, the world's largest voluntary supermarket network, said yesterday it has franchised 60 more stores in Brazil. The stores are the result of a new organization named Union Brazil Supermarkets, developed through the partnership of independent retailers and two retail cooperatives, RedeShow IGA and Multi Market IGA.

    IGA chairman and c.e.o. Thomas S. Haggai and IGA Coca-Cola Institute president and native Brazilian Paulo Goelzer attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony symbolic of the grand opening for the 60 Brazilian IGAs.

    Union Brazil Supermarkets is chaired by Luiz Carlos, a retailer who owns two IGA stores and is also president of the Multi Market cooperative. Pinedo Kasper, an industry veteran and expert on buying groups, is the managing director of Union Brazil IGA.

    Kasper said there will be many additional cooperatives and retail aggregates added to the group in 2006, forecasting 120 additional stores for the year.

    Today IGA has stores in six Brazilian states with formats varying from conventional supermarkets to convenience stores.

    "To say the least, I'm extremely proud of our IGAers for structuring a company that takes advantage of the business climate in South America's largest country," Haggai said. "It is also impressive to see the youthfulness of the owners and their projections for growth."

    IGA includes more than 4,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies. The alliance has operations in nearly all of the 50 United States and more than 40 countries, commonwealths, and territories on all six inhabited continents.

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