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Ahold, the international food retail and foodservice company, on Tuesday announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire all the outstanding shares of Bruno's Supermarkets Inc. and Alliant Exchange Inc., the parent company of Alliant Foodservice Inc.
Bruno's Supermarkets is a prominent food retailer in the Southeastern USA with 184 stores (of which 169 are supermarkets) operating under various banners in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia. Ahold will also be acquiring an affiliated company, Bruno's, Inc., which holds seven parcels of property that are leased to Bruno's Supermarkets. Bruno's Supermarkets fiscal 2000 net sales amounted to approximately USD 1.65 billion. On a combined basis with Bruno's, Inc., its fiscal 2000 EBITDA totaled approximately USD 60 million.
Alliant is a leading foodservice operator in the United States with fiscal 2000 net sales of approximately USD 6.6 billion and EBITDA of approximately USD 174 million.
Bruno's Supermarkets is a regional chain and a natural fit with Ahold, creating opportunities for Ahold to serve customers in the Southern region of the United States. The company adds supermarkets to Ahold in a number of new areas in the South, particularly in Alabama, Mississippi and Northern Florida. Ahold estimates that total synergies from the transaction will be approximately USD 35 million in the first full year of combined operations, increasing to USD 50 million in the third year. In addition, Bruno's Supermarkets has considerable opportunities for growth in Southeastern USA. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Bruno's Supermarkets currently employs approximately 14,000 people.
Bruno's Supermarkets, founded in 1932, uses three principal formats: supermarkets, upscale superstores and neighborhood stores. The 120 supermarkets operate under the Food World and Food Max banners and are known for their competitive pricing. With 30 stores, the more traditional superstore format operates under the name Bruno's Supermarkets and aims to provide exceptional service and quality. The 18 neighborhood stores go by the name of Food Fair. Continuous promotion of the fresh departments in each of these formats differentiates Bruno's Supermarkets from strong local competition. In addition, the company operates one distribution center, 13 liquor stores, two gas stations and one pharmacy.
The anticipated closing of this acquisition by the first quarter of 2002, pending regulatory approval, will make Bruno's Supermarkets the 6th U.S. retail company in Ahold. The addition of Bruno's Supermarkets to the existing Ahold retail companies - Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle, Tops and BI-LO - will bring the total number of Ahold's U.S. stores to almost 1,600. Ahold also has significant foodservice operations throughout the United States.
"We are delighted to welcome Bruno's Supermarkets on board as our 6th retail operating company," said Bill Grize, member of the Ahold Corporate Executive Board and President & CEO of Ahold USA. "We have watched the company develop over the last few years, and have been impressed with how it has emerged as a strong regional operator. We are excited about entering new territories and serving new customers. We think that the synergy potential of this acquisition, and the additional experience from Ahold's management team will benefit Bruno's Supermarkets' customers tremendously. Together with Bruno's
Supermarkets' solid management team, we believe there are various opportunities to grow the business upon its integration into the Ahold family. Strategically, Bruno's Supermarkets is a good match with Ahold, and we look forward to continuing to offer customers a superior shopping experience."
"We are excited that our company is joining forces with the Ahold group," said James Demme, President & CEO of Bruno's Supermarkets. "Joining forces with Ahold makes us more competitive, and opens up new growth channels to improve existing operations. We see various opportunities in the Southeastern market and we are eager to further expand our presence in the marketplace."