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Retail conglomerate Delhaize Group has completed the sale of all 66 of its Bottom Dollar Food store locations to Aldi Inc.
In November 2014, Brussels-based Delhaize, which operates in seven countries on three continents, revealed that it would sell the banner's store locations and associated lease liabilities to Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi, thereby exiting the U.S. food retail discount segment. Delhaize said it intended to focus on its core operations in the traditional supermarket sector. According to both companies, the transaction price was about $15 million.
"The divestiture of Bottom Dollar Food further simplifies our business, increases debt capacity and creates shareholder value," noted Delhaize Group President and CEO Frans Muller at the time the deal was made public.
For Aldi, which has operated extreme-discount stores in Bottom Dollar's market area of Pennsylvania and southeast New Jersey for more than two decades, the acquisition represented an early phase of its "accelerated strategic growth plan." The company plans to open 650 new stores across the United States, including expanding to Southern California, with the aim of bringing its total number of U.S. stores to nearly 2,000 by the end of 2018 and creating 10,000-plus positions across its organization.
Bottom Dollar opened its first store in King of Prussia, Pa., in October 2010, and grew to operate 46 stores in greater Philadelphia and 20 stores in greater Pittsburgh, Pa., employing about 2,200 associates. All 66 stores closed by Jan. 15 of this year, officially retiring the Salisbury, N.C.-based discount grocery banner's operations. At that time, Bottom Dollar offered severance to all associates, along with career transition services for eligible employees.