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Twin Cities-based grocery retailer Supervalu to be acquired in $2.9 billion deal

The SuperValu Distribution Center at 3501 12th Avenue North in Fargo, N.D., June 4, 2012. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based grocery retailer Supervalu is selling itself to United Natural Foods in a $2.9 billion deal that also includes debt, the company said in a statement Thursday, July 26.

As part of the deal, United Natural Foods, a distributor of natural and organic foods, offered Supervalu shareholders $32.50 per share in cash, a 67 percent premium to Supervalu’s closing price from Wednesday.

“This transaction accelerates UNFI’s ‘Build out the Store’ growth strategy by immediately enhancing our product range, equipping us to bring an attractive, comprehensive product portfolio to an expanded universe of customers,” said Steve Spinner, UNFI’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.

Supervalu, which  has been in business for nearly 100 years, is the fifth-largest food retailer in the country. In 1975, Supervalu acquired Moorhead, Minn.-based grocery chain Hornbacher’s, which now has eight locations throughout Moorhead, Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D.

In 1980, Supervalu acquired Minnesota-based Cub Foods, which at the time of acquiring operated only five store in the Twin Cities area. The grocery chain has now expanded to 81 locations throughout Minnesota and Illinois.

“The combination of UNFI and Supervalu provides a substantial premium and delivers certainty of value to our stockholders, meaningful benefits to our customers, expanded opportunities for our employees, and the ability for us and our vendors to efficiently serve a varied customer base,” said Mark Gross, Supervalu’s Chief Executive Officer. “I am confident that, together, Supervalu and UNFi will be well-positioned to succeed—and to help our customers succeed—in today’s grocery landscape.”

This is a developing breaking news story. Check back later for more updates.

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