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Heated Competition Drives Minyards Out of Grocery Business

COPPELL, Texas - The Minyard family has sold its supermarket chain, Minyard Food Stores, Inc., to a Texas-based investment company.

Owned and operated by the Minyard family for the past 72 years, the 69-store supermarket chain will continue to be operated under its three existing banners, Minyard Food Stores, Sack'n Save Warehouse Food Stores and Carnival Food Stores, according to the company.

The acquiring entity is Acquisition Vehicle Texas II, LLC, led by grocery investor Ron Johnson and backed by investors from Texas. Johnson is no stranger to the supermarket industry: He's been involved in the buyout and subsequent leadership of several regional grocery chains, including Jitney Jungle Stores of America, Farm Fresh, Inc., and Kash n' Karry Food Stores.

"We are very excited and committed to building on the proud, rich heritage of the past 72 years and eagerly look forward to continuing the success and profitability of this great company," Johnson said. The new entity will conduct business under the name Minyard Group.

The Minyards had been approached by interested acquirers many times in the past, but chose to accept this latest offer because of a persistent climate of increased competition from the large chains in the Dallas market. "It is such a competitive marketplace, and Minyard was one of the last -- if not the last -- privately held large grocery chain in the area," Minyard spokeswoman Debbie Krznarich told Progressive Grocer.

Krznarich said the Minyard family will work closely with Johnson during the ownership transition period, and it will be business as usual for the chain moving into the holiday season. "There are no planned store closings, layoffs, or staff changes," she said.

Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin represented Minyard Food Stores in connection with the transaction.

Minyard Food Stores Inc. currently operates 69 supermarkets and 15 "On the Go" fuel stations in six surrounding counties of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, including 26 Minyard, 19 Sack'n Save, and 24 Carnival Food Stores. Additionally, the company operates its own 722,000-square-foot distribution center and 43,000-square-foot office on an 81-acre corporate headquarters complex in Coppell.

With an employee force of 5,200, Minyard Food Stores Inc. is the 25th largest employer in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex.
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