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    Fleming to Close Unprofitable Units, May Sell Grocery Wholesaling Business

    DALLAS - Fleming Companies Inc. today announced its key strategic initiatives. The company plans to continue its operational improvement initiatives in its core grocery wholesale and separate Core-Mark convenience subsidiary, while simultaneously exploring strategic sale opportunities in response to a number of inquiries from potential buyers.

    DALLAS - Fleming Companies Inc. today announced its key strategic initiatives. The company plans to continue its operational improvement initiatives in its core grocery wholesale and separate Core-Mark convenience subsidiary, while simultaneously exploring strategic sale opportunities in response to a number of inquiries from potential buyers.

    With regard to Fleming's grocery wholesale business, the company said it would focus on restoring service levels to "historic standards." To do that, it will rationalize the business by focusing on its most profitable units and closing selected facilities, where appropriate.

    "Substantial progress has been achieved with vendors that is enhancing, and should continue to improve, Fleming's ability to increase customer service levels. At this point, Fleming has approximately $200 million of negotiated vendor credit lines, which is expected to help further bolster operations," the company's press release said.

    Additionally, Fleming said that in response to interest from potential financial and strategic buyers, it is exploring the possible sale of its grocery wholesale business.

    Fleming also announced today that it has decided to discontinue operations at three grocery wholesale divisions in Geneva, Ala.; Lafayette, La.; and Superior, Wisc.

    The selected divisions are scheduled to discontinue operations by the end of July 2003. The company expects to immediately begin transferring inventory from the closing divisions to other Fleming wholesale distribution facilities.

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