FOOD 4 LESS, RALPHS IN $1.5 BILLION PACT

LOS ANGELES -- The big red Ralphs oval is about to become the most-seen supermarket banner in southern California.After more than a year of negotiation, Food 4 Less Supermarkets, La Habra, Calif., said last week it would join Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., in a management-led deal valued at $1.5 billion.Projected market share for the combined operation was expected to approach 30% in southern

LOS ANGELES -- The big red Ralphs oval is about to become the most-seen supermarket banner in southern California.

After more than a year of negotiation, Food 4 Less Supermarkets, La Habra, Calif., said last week it would join Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., in a management-led deal valued at $1.5 billion.

Projected market share for the combined operation was expected to approach 30% in southern California. By comparison, current market-share leader Vons Cos., La Habra, c

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