Minn. grocer Nash Finch agrees to buyout

Nash Finch Co., a 125-year-old grocer and food distributor based in Edina, is being acquired by a Michigan wholesale and retail food seller in a deal valued at about $1.3 billion.

The buyer, Spartan Stores, is one of the nation's largest food distributors, serving about 400 stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. It also owns about 100 grocery stores.

Link: Nash Finch stock market performance

Spartan chief executive Dennis Eidson will run the combined operations.

Nash Finch, one of Minnesota's 19 Fortune 500 firms, is a major distributor of food to American military commissaries in the U.S. and operates Family Fresh Markets, Econofoods and Sunmart stores. The company reported a slight drop in revenue last year and a net loss of $94 million.

The combined company will have 22 wholesale distribution centers, covering 37 states, 177 supermarkets, and will be the leading distributor to military commissaries and exchanges in the nation. Eidson said the companies have very complimentary businesses and will have about $7.5 billion in revenue.

The companies say they will consolidate certain corporate operations resulting in savings of $50 million a year.

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