C&S Wholesale Grocers said Monday that it would buy the warehouse and distribution operations of Houston-based food distributor Grocers Supply Co. for an undisclosed price.
C&S said the acquisition will include Grocers Supply’s warehouse and distribution operations in the Houston, Dallas and Rio Grande Valley, Texas, areas along with its approximately 1,800 employees, but will not include any of Grocers Supply’s retail operations. The transaction is expected to close before year-end and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Family-owned Grocers Supply distributes grocery, dairy, frozen, meat and produce to small chains and independents around Texas, and is one of the country's largest distributors of Hispanic grocery products. Its largest customer is the 60-store Hispanic focused chain Fiesta Mart, which Grocers Supply will continue to own in partnership with Fiesta employees.
Grocers Supply did an estimated $2.9 billion in sales in 2013, making it the eighth largest food wholesaler in the U.S. and Canada, according to SN’s Top 75. C&S, with an estimated $21 billion in sales last year, is the largest. C&S last week won bankruptcy court approval to acquire Associated Wholesalers Inc., the ninth-largest U.S. wholesaler. It also last month reached an agreement to acquire the South Carolina-based parent of Piggly Wiggly Carolina and sell its remaining stores to independent operators.
“As the Levit Family planned for the next one hundred years, with the goal of sustaining the Grocers Supply wholesale business, we determined that selling the wholesale business would be in the best interest of its stakeholders. We carefully selected C&S Wholesale Grocers as the best choice for our employees and customers because of C&S’s commitment to growth, operational excellence, and service to independent grocers," Max Levit, president of Grocers Supply, said in a statement. “We appreciate our loyal employees’ numerous accomplishments and look forward to seeing their future successes.”
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The Grocers Supply operations would be the first facilities in Texas for Keene, N,H.-based C&S.
“The Grocers Supply Co. has a century-long legacy of providing the highest level of service to its valued customers, which are primarily independent retailers and regional chains,” Rick Cohen, chairman and CEO of C&S. “We very much look forward to partnering with the Grocers Supply team to continue this tradition and to expand the services and offerings available to its customers through the strength and scale of C&S. C&S is excited to enter the Southwestern United States market and to have the opportunity to service this growing and vital region.”
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