D'AGOSTINO PREPARES TO INTEGRATE KINGS

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- D'Agostino Supermarkets here said it expects to hit the integration trail quickly once its acquisition of Kings Super Markets is completed."We've been developing a transition plan for the past year, and we plan to begin taking advantage of synergies as soon as possible," Nicholas D'Agostino Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, told SN last week.D'Agostino, operators of 23

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- D'Agostino Supermarkets here said it expects to hit the integration trail quickly once its acquisition of Kings Super Markets is completed.

"We've been developing a transition plan for the past year, and we plan to begin taking advantage of synergies as soon as possible," Nicholas D'Agostino Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, told SN last week.

D'Agostino, operators of 23 stores, announced in late July it would acquire Kings, a 27-store operator based in Parsippany, N.J., from London-based Marks & Spencer for $160 million. However, at midweek last week, D'Agostino said he was not sure exactly when the deal would close, although he said it could be any day.

"We're making every effort to close the deal. Right now it's all just paperwork," D'Agostino said.

Once the deal is finalized, D'Agostino said it will take about three months for the company to relocate its headquarters from here to Parsippany.

Among the synergies he said he anticipates is a reduction in back-office functions. "We won't need as many bodies going forward, and we anticipate there will be some natural fall-off as some people here feel it's not worthwhile to go to Parsippany to work," he said.

He also said he expects synergies from integrating information systems and combining advertising.

When the deal is in place, D'Agostino said Kings will stop buying from wholesaler White Rose Foods, a division of DiGiorgio Corp., Carteret, N.J., and switch to Supervalu, the Minneapolis-based distributor that supplies D'Agostino's stores. "If we close the deal by the middle of this month, we'll try to switch distribution within 30 days. But if it takes longer, we'll delay the switch until after the holidays," he explained.