Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Peter Lynch has created a merger resource center to disseminate information to company employees and intends to communicate details about the impending sale of the company to BI-LO LLC on a weekly basis, reports the Jacksonville Business Journal.
The grocer announced the sale earlier this month to the South Carolina-based chain. Many of the details of the acquisition will be released as the closing date of 60 to 120 days approaches, including where the company headquarters will be. Still, the letter said that Winn-Dixie would remain in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Through this merger and beyond, the good work we have been doing to earn trust and loyalty every day will continue as before,” Lynch said in the letter.
“I know you’re going to like what you see at Winn-Dixie in the months and the years to come,” he added.
The merger resource center will include a frequently-asked-questions section; and, Lynch said, he plans to address some of those questions during his weekly communications with employees, which will take place each Friday. There were 19 FAQs listed in the public document, including one about changes to Winn-Dixie wages, salaries and benefits, to which the answer was that there would be no immediate changes because the merger agreement states that they cannot be diminished for one year from the date of the merger closing, the Journal reports.
Winn-Dixie has been a publicly traded company for decades. Other questions Lynch addressed in the letter include: why becoming a private company is a good thing. Lynch’s response was, “we are less likely to have to release sensitive financial and other information about our business … with our competitors eagerly listening and learning.”
He also addressed the question as to why the merger was announced during the holidays. He responded, “the simple truth is Winn-Dixie, like any public company, is legally required to announce a deal the moment the deal becomes official. This week just happened to be the week when everything fell into place.”
The letter to employees does not address the class action lawsuit filed against the company and certain shareholders.