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    UNFI to Acquire Tony’s Fine Foods

    Wholesaler expanding perishable offerings, distribution footprint

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information

    United Natural Foods Inc. will acquire all of the stock of Tony's Fine Foods, a West Sacramento, Calif.-based distributor of perishable food products, including specialty protein, cheese, deli, foodservice and bakery goods, throughout the western United States. Tony's products are sold mainly to retail and specialty grocers, foodservice customers and other distribution companies.

    The deal is expected to close late in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014; Upon closing, Tony’s will become a wholly owned subsidiary of UNFI, with the transaction expected to be accretive to the wholesaler’s earnings in its fiscal year 2015. The total purchase price for the acquisition of the business and related real estate is expected to be about $195.3 million, and will consist of around $187.8 million in cash and approximately 112,000 shares of UNFI's common stock. Tony's shareholders plan to use a portion of the proceeds to pay off all of its existing debts at closing.

    Perimeter Product Growth

    "Natural protein and specialty perishable products are a very important part of UNFI's future," said Steven Spinner, president and CEO of Providence, R.I.-based UNFI. "Tony's Fine Foods will serve as our platform for building out our national perimeter product offering. These fast-growing products will help us further expand market share as we build out our retail store SKU offering."

    "Tony's has a consistent track record of providing quality products and innovative logistical solutions to a wide variety of food industry establishments with a commitment to superior customer service," added Tony's Co-president Karl Berger, a third-generation operator, noting that his company would become a part of UNFI while maintaining its West Coast distribution and logistics network.

    UNFI carries and distributes more than 65,000 products to 31,000-plus customer locations in the United States and Canada. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats, among them conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the foodservice channel.

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Bridget Goldschmidt In addition to serving as Progressive Grocer’s Managing Editor, Bridget writes many print and digital features encompassing a range of grocery and fresh categories across the store. Bridget also enjoys on-site reporting assignments at such key industry events as the New York Fancy Food Show and the International Boston Seafood Show, in addition to visiting stores for PG’s prestigious Store of the Month feature. In her years with the magazine, she has developed into a knowledgeable voice on grocery industry trends, sought by such distinguished publications as The New York Times.

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