Southeastern Grocers (SEG) has entered into agreements to sell several of its banner stores – Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarkets and Fresco y Más – to Aldi and Fresco Retail Group as part of a larger divestiture.
Under the proposed merger agreement, Aldi will acquire all outstanding SEG capital stock in an all-cash transaction, which encompasses all SEG grocery operations under the Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket banners. This includes approximately 400 stores in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida where 75 percent of the stores are located.
Following the completion of the sales process, Aldi will serve the customers and communities of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets through the continued operation of the banners’ current stores. The acquisition continues the growth of Aldi, expanding its ability to serve the region.
“Like Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the Southeast, and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi.
“The time was right to build on our growth momentum and help residents in the Southeast save on their grocery bills. The transaction supports our long-term growth strategy across the U.S., including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year to reach a total of more than 2,400 stores by year-end.”
Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of SEG, said, “This merger agreement is a testament to our successful transformational journey and the tireless work of our dedicated associates who serve our communities. Aldi shares our vision to provide exceptional quality, service and value – and this unique opportunity will evolve our business to benefit our customers, associates and neighbors throughout the Southeast.”
Aldi first established its presence in the Southeast in the mid-1990s and since has invested $2.5 billion in the region. Most recently, Aldi deepened its roots in the region, opening its 26th regional headquarters and distribution center in Loxley, Alabama, to help support new stores, with plans to open 20 new locations in the area by the end of the year. SEG established its presence in the region nearly a century ago.
“Aldi will operate Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores with the same level of care and focus on quality and service, as we also evaluate which locations will convert to the Aldi format to better support the neighborhoods we’ll now have the privilege of serving,” Hart said.
“For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores.”
Concurrently, SEG has agreed to divest its Fresco y Más operations. SEG anticipates that the sale of the Fresco y Más banner will be consummated in the first quarter of 2024. The Fresco y Más banner, including all 28 stores and four pharmacies, will be sold to Fresco Retail Group LLC, an investment group focused on food and grocery. Fresco Retail Group LLC plans for all stores and pharmacies in the Fresco y Más banner to continue operating as they are presently.
The transaction will bring together brands that share a “commitment to delivering an exceptional grocery experience and making a positive impact in the communities where they operate,” Aldi said in a statement.
The merger agreements have been approved by the holders of a majority of SEG’s outstanding shares, and the mergers are expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. SEG will continue to operate its respective banners and stores in the normal course of business up to and until the transactions are completed.