BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Haggen Inc., operator of 30 Haggen and TOP supermarkets in Washington and Oregon, said last week it has reached an agreement to sell the chain to the Comvest Group, West Palm Beach, Fla., for an undisclosed price.
Comvest will become the majority owner, with members of the Haggen family, which founded the chain in 1933, taking a “significant minority position.”
Jim Donald, who has been president and chief executive officer of Haggen since October 2009, will step down when the deal is consummated in mid-March, though he will continue to serve as an advisor, the company said.
He will be succeeded by Clarence J. “Gabe” Gabriel, who worked for Albertsons from 2002 through 2006 as executive vice president, merchandising and supply chain management.
Gabriel has subsequently served as president and CEO of Transcera International, a privately held executive search and consulting firm; president and CEO of Movie Gallery, Wilsonville, Ore., a video rental company that is no longer in business; and most recently as president and CEO of Cistrona Retail and Supply Chain Consulting, Orlando, Fla.
Comvest is a private investment firm whose equity strategy focuses on lower middle-market companies and which, according to its website, takes an active operational role in support of management to drive growth and value creation within each company. The investment in Haggen is its first in the grocery industry.