Sale of Bruno's and Bi-Lo's Inches Closer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The sale of Ahold USA's Bruno's and Bi-Lo chains seems to be inching closer, according to published reports.

The Birmingham News has identified the New York investment firm of Cerberus Capital Management as one of the potential buyers, reporting that officials from Cerberus were in Birmingham in recent days, studying Bruno's, Food World, and Food Lion stores.

At least one other company has made an offer, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile officials of Bruno's have reportedly begun formal contract talks with a union representing many of the chain's workers, and say they want to complete a new contract quickly so they can sell the company.

Royal Ahold put Birmingham-based Bruno's and its Mauldin, S.C.,-based sister chain, Bi-Lo, up for sale in February, just months after linking the two grocers in a restructuring. Offers to buy the chains were due in late July. As was previously reported by Progressive Grocer, the sale is expected to happen by year's end.
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