BI-LO Buys Winn-Dixie for $530 Million; Deal Translates to 75% Premium

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Published December 19, 2011

| FOXBusiness

Southeastern U.S. supermarket operator Winn-Dixie (WINN) reached a $530 million deal on Monday to be sold to fellow supermarket owner BI-LO in a transaction that carries a lofty 75% premium.

Privately held BI-LO, which is based in Greenville, S.C., said once the deal closes Winn-Dixie will become a subsidiary of BI-LO, but keep its own banner. The combined company will have 690 stores in nine states scattered throughout the Southeast. 

BI-LO said it will pay $9.50 in cash per share of Winn-Dixie stock, translating to a hefty 75% premium on Winn-Dixie’s Friday close of $5.43.

Founded in 1925, Winn-Dixie has about 46,000 employees and 480 retail grocery locations in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.

BI-LO, which is majority-owned by Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, employs about 17,000 people and operates 207 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

“With no overlap in our markets, the combined company will have a perfect geographic fit that will create a stronger platform from which to provide our customers great products at a great value, while continuing to offer exceptional service,” BI-LO Chairman Randall Onstead said in a statement.

The deal is seen closing in the next 60 to 120 days, at which point shares of Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie will stop trading on the Nasdaq Global Market.

The companies said they do not “currently expect” any store closures as a result of the deal. BI-LO and Winn-Dixie said the combined company’s executive management team structure and headquarters location will be decided in the coming weeks, but it’s expected to maintain a presence in both Greenville and Jacksonville.

“By combining BI-LO and Winn-Dixie, we anticipate building a company that is stronger than our individual businesses and creating opportunities for continued advancement through the cross-pollination of our people and the sharing of ideas across our organizations,” said Winn-Dixie CEO Peter Lynch.

Shares of Winn-Dixie, which had been almost 25% in the red on the year, surged 71.82% to $9.35 ahead of Monday’s open.

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