Bi-Lo Holdings and Delhaize Group have received approval from the Federal Trade Commission to proceed with the transaction in which Bi-Lo Holdings will acquire substantially all of the stores in the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s supermarket chains from Delhaize.
Bi-Lo Holdings agreed to divest 12 Delhaize America stores in the states of Fla., Ga., and S.C., and Delhaize Group has agreed to retain two additional stores and convert them to the Food Lion banner, pursuant to a consent order accepted by the FTC for public comment on Feb. 25. The order is subject to final approval by the FTC after the close of a 30-day comment period.
“We have been preparing for the integration of the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s banners and store associates for many months and are delighted to now move forward and welcome them to the Bi-Lo Holdings family,” said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings.
Bi-Lo Holdings initially acquired the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's chains from Delhaize for $265 million in May of 2013. The deal at the time included 72 Sweetbay stores, leases for 10 prior Sweetbay locations, 72 Harveys stores and 11 Reid's stores, for a total of 165 stores throughout the Southeast.
Following news of approved acquisition, Bi-Lo said it plans to close eight of the acquired Delhaize America and five Bi-Lo Holdings stores because of close geographic proximity.
“Given the number of stores we are acquiring, we anticipated that we may be asked by the FTC to divest some stores to close the deal. In addition, with the close proximity of some of the Bi-Lo Holdings and Delhaize stores, we also knew that we would have to close a few stores as part of the acquisition,” said Onstead. “We appreciate the many contributions our associates in these stores have made, and we will ensure they are treated respectfully and have the opportunity to pursue other open positions in nearby stores.”
The stores planned for closure are as follows: