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    Winn-Dixie Shareholders Approve Employee Stock Purchasing Plan

    The Southeastern grocer employs about 50,000 people.

    Winn-Dixie employees will once again be able to participate in an employee stock purchasing plan, which was approved by shareholders at the grocer's annual meeting Wednesday. The plan gives company employees the chance to purchase shares of stock at a 5 percent discount to the fair market value through accumulated payroll deductions.

    Winn-Dixie's president, c.e.o. and chairman Peter Lynch said the company had a different version of an employee stock purchasing plan that was dissolved when the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005. Employees have been asking for a new plan since the company emerged from bankruptcy and started its restructuring process, Lynch said.

    A maximum number of one million shares can be issued under the new employee stock purchasing program. The plan is in addition to the employee 401K plan.

    "We enter fiscal 2009 as a significantly stronger company positioned for greater success in the years ahead," Lynch said during the meeting, which was streamed live through the company's investor relations Web site for the first time.

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