Batavia / IL. (aus) Aldi Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket as part of a larger divestiture of Southeastern Grocers (SEG) to various entities. The acquisition continues the growth of Aldi. The agreement includes approximately 400 stores in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida where 75 percent of the SEG stores are located.
«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 Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart. «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 growth strategy across the U.S., including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year to reach a total of 2,400 stores by year-end.»
Despite many retailers shuttering stores due to economic conditions, Aldi is doubling-down on expansion plans, supporting its position as one of the fastest-growing grocers in the country. The Southeast-focused acquisition includes approximately 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
«This merger agreement is a testament to our successful transformational journey and the tireless work of our dedicated associates who serve our communities,» said Anthony Hucker, President and CEO, Southeastern Grocers. «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.»
The transaction will bring together three trusted brands that share a long-standing commitment to delivering an exceptional grocery experience and making a positive impact in the communities where they operate. Aldi first established its presence in the Southeast in the mid-1990s and since has invested USD 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 Aldi locations in the area by the end of the year. Southeastern Grocers established its presence in the region nearly a century ago. From the beginning, its commitments to the customer, caring associates and quality products have made a profound impact in the Southeast.
«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,» added Hart. «For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores.»
A «Certified Great Place to Work» and one of Forbes’ America’s Best Large Employers, Aldi will bring its employee-focused culture and above-industry-average store associate wages to more markets in the Southeast. Like Winn-Dixie, Aldi has many loyal customers, with accolades such as being named the #1 in price for the sixth consecutive year and a top 10 most sustainable grocer.
Deutsche Bank served as financial advisor to Aldi. Baker + McKenzie LLP was transaction counsel to Aldi and Kayne Law Group served as real estate counsel to Aldi. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions (Photo: Aldi U.S.).