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Nash Finch Buys 2nd Omaha Chain

MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch Co. here said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire the 18-store No Frills Supermarkets chain, based in Omaha, Neb. — the wholesaler's second acquisition of a large customer in the region this year.

The terms of the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of third quarter, were not immediately available.

Last month Nash Finch said it had completed the acquisition of the 12-store Bag ’N Save chain in Omaha and York, Neb., for about $29.9 million. Those stores, which also had been customers of Nash Finch, generated sales of about $148.6 million in 2011. No Frills had a slightly higher market share in Omaha than Bag ’N Save — 12.2% vs. 10.7% — in 2011, according to Metro Market Studies, Tucson, Ariz.

No Frills Supermarkets had previously been sold to a group of its senior executives, led by former Nash Finch executive Fred Witecy, in 2008. Witecy, chief executive officer at No Frills, will rejoin Nash Finch following the acquisition, the company said.

Related story: Nash Finch Buying Bag ’N Save

No Frills operates 14 locations in Nebraska — including 12 in the Omaha market — and four in western Iowa. After the transaction closes, Nash Finch will own 24 supermarkets in greater Omaha, and 41 in Nebraska. Nash Finch is buying the stores through its U Save Foods subsidiary, which also operates the Bag ’N Save stores.

“Combining the purchasing power of the No Frills stores, the Bag ’N Save stores and the Nash Finch corporate-owned stores, we will be well positioned to deliver competitive prices and programs to all of our Nebraska and Iowa customers,” said Witecy in a statement.

Alec Covington, Nash Finch president and CEO, added, “I look forward to welcoming the No Frills associates to Nash Finch and, in particular, to welcoming Fred back to the Nash Finch family. We are excited about the opportunities before us in Omaha and in greater Nebraska to offer retail experiences that will delight our customers and energize our associates to continue to provide the outstanding customer service our customers have come to expect.”

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