Kings Finds Buyer, Eagle Food Won’t

Jun 20, 2002

Gristede’s Foods says it will buy Kings Super Markets, the only North American company left in Marks & Spencer’s portfolio, for $155 million, reports It expects the acquisition will result in $7.6 million in annual synergies beginning the second full-year of operations after the purchase.

Gristede’s, which had sales last year of $230.2 million, operates 42 supermarkets and two drug stores in the New York metro area. Kings, which had sales last year of $444.8 million, operates 26 supermarkets in northern New Jersey and two in Long Island, N.Y.

In other news, a proposal to sell Eagle Food Centers was defeated by shareholders, according to the company, which emerged from bankruptcy last year, adding that it expects to continue to lose money this year. It also abandoned plans to convert some of its Eagle Country Markets to Eagle Discount Food Stores, after converting seven in the first quarter.

Eagle Food posted a first-quarter loss of $3.2 million, compared with a loss of $848,000 in the year-ago period. Sales were down about 8.3 percent, to $161.71 million.

Moderator Comment: What is your assessment on the
state of the grocery industry?

It seems as though grocery retailers are having a tough
time today regardless of their size. The major exception to the rule being Wal-Mart
(assuming you do not count Germany). [George
Anderson – Moderator

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