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11/18/2022

Southeastern Grocers Said to Be Looking for a Buyer

Move comes after Kroger-Albertsons merger news, last year’s IPO withdrawal
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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If Southeastern Grocer finds a buyer, as it's reported to be in the process of doing, that would mean yet more consolidation in the U.S. supermarket industry.

Here we go again: Southeastern Grocers has entered into talks with prospective buyers, according to a Nov. 17 report in The Wall Street Journal citing “people familiar with the matter.” The move comes roughly a year after the company scuttled its initial public offering. 

If a deal does happen, it would mean yet more consolidation in the U.S. supermarket industry, on the heels of The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. revealing their decision to merge in a $20 billion deal that aims to increase the combined companies’ technological prowess and scale, as well as helping them compete against even bigger rivals in the grocery space. While regulatory approval for the merger is still in its early stages, Kroger and Albertsons have said that they expect to divest stores as part of that process. 

A Southeastern Grocers spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that the company is always looking at ways to improve shareholder value and that it’s obliged to consider transactions that do so, adding that the company will remain focused on its strategy. 

Southeastern Grocers filed to go public in 2020, and then decided against pursuing the offering last year. In 2018, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, from which it emerged in May of that year. 

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with about 420 grocery stores, approximately 140 liquor stores and more than 200 in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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