Delhaize Group has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent to have its Food Lion division acquire most of BI-LO's assets for $425 million in cash. BI-LO, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since March, has 214 stores in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee.
Rick Anicetti, executive vice president of Delhaize Group and president and chief executive of Food Lion, said in a press release to announce the deal, "We at Food Lion, LLC have great admiration for the associates and stores at BI-LO. We believe our markets and service philosophy are complementary and we look forward to continuing our discussions with BI-LO."
Food Lion operates roughly 1,300 stores in 11 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states under the Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys and Reid's banners.
Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokesperson for Food Lion, told The Sun News, "It's too early to speculate on possible outcomes. Since both companies are in discussions, we don't have any additional information to share at this time."
Discussion Question: What do you think Food Lion should do with BI-LO if the proposed acquisition of assets goes through? How could it be best positioned in the market relative to its other banners?
Should the BI-LO name continue, assuming the chain is acquired, or should remaining stores be converted to one or more of the banners operated by Food Lion?