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    Unified Grocers Closes Associated Grocers Deal

    SEATTLE -- Retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor Unified Grocers yesterday completed the purchase of Associated Grocers, Inc., Seattle for a total purchase price of $38.5 million.

    SEATTLE -- Retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor Unified Grocers yesterday completed the purchase of Associated Grocers, Inc., Seattle for a total purchase price of $38.5 million.

    "This is a significant milestone in the history of our company," said Unified president and c.e.o. Alfred A. Plamann in a statement. "In addition to strengthening our position as the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery cooperative in the western United States, we have created an organization that will help our retail members and customers improve their competitiveness. Add to this synergies that we expect to achieve down the road, and what emerges is a powerful regional wholesaler that will have a very positive impact on the future success of independents for many years to come."

    Among the assets purchased by Unified were AG's inventory of grocery products, equipment and furnishings, and among the liabilities assumed by Unified were AG's payables, its nonunion employee pension plan, and the lease on the company's Seattle warehouse.

    Further, about 650 AG employees were hired by Unified and have working for that company.

    Unified also has obtained new supply agreements from the vast majority of AG's existing customer base of grocery retailers, and assumed certain existing supply agreements between AG and other retail customers, including an existing agreement with Haggen Food & Pharmacy and TOP Food & Drug, a 33-store chain with operations in Washington and Oregon.

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