Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets have entered into a definitive merger agreement that creates a powerful alliance between the two independent grocery chains and nearly doubles their collective footprint in the Northeast.
Scott Grimmett, Price Chopper/Market 32's President and CEO, will be CEO of and serve on the Board of Directors of the new parent company, which will oversee the operations of nearly 300 Price Chopper, Market 32, one Market Bistro and Tops Markets stores and collectively employ more than 30,000 teammates.
Frank Curci, Tops Markets Chairman and CEO, will serve on the Board of Directors of the new parent company and as a consultant to assist in the transition.
Blaine Bringhurst, Price Chopper/Market 32's Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing and Store Operations, will lead the Price Chopper/Market 32 business. John Persons, Tops Markets President and Chief Operating Officer, will lead the Tops Markets business.
The new parent company will be headquartered in Schenectady, New York. The Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets businesses will retain main offices in Schenectady and Williamsville and will continue to be managed locally by their respective leaders. With roots dating to the 1920s, both Tops Markets and Price Chopper/Market 32 have grown exponentially over the last century, building and acquiring stores across Upstate New York and throughout the Northeast.
"This merger marks a major step forward and collectively elevates our ability to compete on every level," Grimmett said. "It leverages increased value for our customers; advances shared opportunities for innovation; fortifies the depth of our workforce, community and trade partnerships; and ultimately accelerates our capacity to deliver a distinctively modern and convenient shopping experience. Given the vital role that supermarkets and their workforces play in our communities, particularly this past year, I am excited to lead the parent company of these two historic grocery retailers."
According to a statement, the merger allows the companies to be better positioned to compete and offer more value and outstanding services to their customers across the Northeast.
"We have long believed that this merger makes sense both strategically and based on the similar ways in which we each put customers first, go to market and treat our people," Curci said. "We look forward to working closely with the Price Chopper/Market 32 team and together becoming an even stronger competitor with more scale, as we continue serving our customers and communities."
The transaction is expected to close in the coming months, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. PJ Solomon is serving as exclusive financial adviser to Price Chopper/Market 32 and exclusive arranger of financing for the new parent company.
"As Amazon/Whole Foods, Walmart/Sam’s, Target, Costco, BJ’s, Aldi, Dollar General, Dollar Tree/Family Dollar, Walgreen, CVS and Ahold/Hannaford continue to use their enormous size, and very low cost of capital to make extraordinary investments in their powerful, ubiquitous store and online grocery ecosystems, it is ever more critical for regional grocers to build the scale required to enable them to also invest in price, people, marketing, technology and growth (albeit far less given their relative size)," said Scott Moses, managing director and head of Grocery, Pharmacy & Restaurants at PJ Solomon. "This transaction is a clear reflection of that imperative. It has been a true honor to help these two local pillars, both beloved for generations and based in my home state of New York, to enhance their ability to continue to serve their teams, customers and communities across the Northeast, particularly after the heroic service they have provided over the past year."
Based in Schenectady, N.Y., Price Chopper/Market 32 operates 130 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores and one Market Bistro, employing 18,000 teammates in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Based in Williamsville, N.Y., Tops Markets operates 162 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees.