Lone Star Asks FTC to Modify Ahold Ruling

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Bi-Lo Holdings here has asked the Federal Trade Commission to vacate an order requiring the retailer to comply with antitrust provisions that relate to stores it no longer owns.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Bi-Lo Holdings here has asked the Federal Trade Commission to vacate an order requiring the retailer to comply with antitrust provisions that relate to stores it no longer owns. Bi-Lo Holdings, controlled by Lone Star Funds, is the successor to an agreement between the FTC and Ahold, from whom Lone Star purchased Bi-Lo and Bruno‘s in 2005. The FTC required Ahold in 2002 to divest Bi-Lo stores in Baldwin and Washington counties in Georgia as a condition to approving its deal to buy Bruno‘s, and also required that Ahold or its successor provide annual reports through 2012 on its compliance with the terms of the agreement. Lone Star subsequently sold the stores Bruno‘s operated in those markets to C&S Wholesale Grocers and argued in a petition to the agency that the time and expense to prepare ongoing reports no longer serve the public interest. The FTC, which last summer released Ahold from those requirements in a similar request, will rule on the request following a 30-day comment period, an FTC official told SN.