SALISBURY, N.C. — Delhaize Group said Monday it has agreed to buy Bi-Lo LLC in a deal that would combine one of the largest food retailers in the Carolinas with its smaller rival in bankruptcy court.
Delhaize said it would pay $425 million cash for the "substantial majority"of Bi-Lo's assets. Bi-Lo, headquartered in Mauldin, S.C., operates 214 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia and recorded more than $2 billion in sales in 2008. It filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code in March and was recently under pressure from creditors to reorganize.
Delhaize said it intends to integrate Bi-Lo into its Food Lion division. Food Lion operates more than 1,300 stores in 11 states. The deal is subject to bankruptcy court approval and other customary conditions.
"We at Food Lion, LLC have great admiration for the associates and stores at Bi-Lo," Rick Anicetti, chief executive officer of Food Lion, said in a statement. "We believe our markets and service philosophy are complementary and we look forward to continuing our discussions with Bi-Lo."
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