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Rowes IGA.png Rowe’s IGA

Rowe’s to retain IGA banner under new owners

Robert Rowe will continue to run the seven-store chain he recently sold: report

Rowe’s IGA will remain a part of the IGA network following its sale to Caribbean conglomerate Massy Holdings, a spokeswoman for IGA told SN.

As previously reported, Robert A. Rowe sold the seven-store chain, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., for $47 million to Trinidad and Tobago-based Massy, which operates several grocery and pharmacy formats across the Caribbean.

Massy in a statement said the acquisition reflected its plan to expand its retail footprint in the U.S., where it currently has some limited distribution operations in Florida, according to its most recent annual report.

The news that Rowe’s would remain under the IGA umbrella comes as local reports indicate that Robert Rowe will also remain at the helm of the stores under the new ownership.

“It was an opportunity for me to stay in the same position without being an owner,” Rowe told the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Rowe could not be reached for comment.

Rowe, a former Albertsons and Winn-Dixie executive, launched his career as an independent operator in 2005 after acquiring seven former Albertsons locations. He sold or closed several of those before rebuilding the company back up and joining the IGA network in 2010, according to a report on the Albertsons Florida Blog, an independent website that tracks the history and ownership of Albertsons stores in Florida.

IGA, or the Independent Grocers Alliance, is a voluntary network with more than 8,000 stores worldwide. It was founded in 1926 to bring family-owned, independent grocery stores together under the IGA brand, and offers an array of services to support its local members.

It was not immediately clear whether Massy planned to expand its retail footprint under the IGA banner. Massy operates under the Massy Stores banner and other names in the Caribbean, where it said it is the leading supermarket operator in each of the territories where it has a presence.

Its retail division includes 60 stores, including supermarkets, supercenters, express stores, gourmet stores, pharmacies, home goods stores and a mega-warehouse club in St. Lucia. Its retail operations tallied about $1.1 billion in sales in the most recent year, the company said in its annual report.

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