SCHENECTADY, N.Y. and WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — With the regulatory review process complete and approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received, Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets today announced the closure of their merger, as proposed earlier this year.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will be managed locally by their respective leaders and continue to be referred to by their established brand identities, but will be owned and overseen by a new parent company, Northeast Grocery, Inc. As previously announced, Scott Grimmett, the current president and CEO of Price Chopper/Market 32, will lead the new parent company. He will also serve on its board of directors as will Frank Curci, former Tops Markets Chairman and CEO.
The agreement cements a powerful alliance between the two storied independent grocery chains, as it virtually doubles their collective footprint in the Northeast. With increased scale across their now-combined footprint of nearly 300 stores, the merged companies are better positioned to leverage increased value for customers; advance shared opportunities for innovation; and fortify the depth of their expanded workforce, community, and trade partnerships, thereby becoming stronger and more competitive.
“We’re appreciative of the FTC’s diligence in reviewing this merger and grateful to have received all of the necessary approvals. Now, we can dedicate ourselves to bringing these two storied grocery chains together, leveraging best practices, developing new opportunities, and finding efficiencies that will help us continue to deliver distinctive shopping experiences,” said Grimmett.
The regulatory review process by the FTC mandates the divestiture of 12 of the combined companies’ stores. C&S Wholesale Grocers (C&S) has been approved to purchase all 12 stores. GU Markets LLC, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, will operate these stores. C&S will continue to recognize the union workforce at these locations. The 12 Tops stores to be divested and purchased by C&S Wholesale Grocers are:
|Cooperstown||5 Commons Dr.||Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326|
|Cortland||3932 State Route 281||Cortland, N.Y.13045|
|Norwich||54 E Main St.||Norwich, N.Y. 13815|
|Owego||1145 NY-17C||Owego, N.Y. 13827|
|Peru||50 S. Main St.||Peru, N.Y. 12972|
|Rome||217 Erie Blvd. W.||Rome, N.Y. 13440|
|Rutland||14 N. Main St.||Rutland, V.T. 05701|
|Saranac Lake||156 Church St.||Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12972|
|Sherrill||87 E State St.||Sherrill, N.Y. 13461|
|South Watertown||1330 Washington St||S. Watertown, N.Y. 13601|
|Warrensburg||3836 Main St.||Warrensburg, N.Y. 12885|
|Watertown||22050 Seaway Shopping Ctr.||Watertown, N.Y. 13601|
“We believe that this merger will be a positive for our membership, preserving union jobs and strengthening the company’s prospects into the foreseeable future,” said Frank DeRiso, president of the UFCW Local One. “We are pleased that we have an agreement with the new owner and they are committed to retaining all of the existing union jobs and contracts. We would like to thank the office of the NYS Attorney General, Senator Chuck Schumer and our UFCW International Union for their guidance, assistance and cooperation during this complicated process. This merger will benefit both consumers and union members.”
Blaine Bringhurst will serve as president of the Price Chopper/Market 32 business and John Persons as the president of the Tops Markets business. Dave Langless, the Chief Financial Officer of Tops, will serve as the parent company’s CFO.
Northeast Grocery, Inc. will be headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., as will Price Chopper/Market 32. Tops Markets will retain its main office in Williamsville, N.Y.
“Completing the details of this merger marks a major milestone for the management teams of both Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops,” said Grimmett. “And I’m confident that our teammates and associates are excited about it and will continue to deliver excellence.”
PJ SOLOMON acted as exclusive financial advisor to Price Chopper. Harter Secrest & Emery LLP and Wilson Sonsini served as legal advisors to Price Chopper. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. was exclusive financial advisor to Tops Markets. Paul Weiss LLP and Hogan Lovells US LLP served as legal advisors to Tops Markets. The Food Partners, LLC advised Tops Markets on the divestiture of the 12 stores.
About Price Chopper/Market 32
Based in Schenectady, NY, 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. The American-owned company, founded by the Golub family in 1932, prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, cutting edge brand development and store design, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. For additional information, please visit www.pricechopper.com
About Tops Markets
Based in Williamsville, NY, Tops Markets currently operates 162 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees. As the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with more than 14,000 associates, the company is dedicated to providing sustainably sourced, high-quality products, while helping its communities flourish via support for programs that eradicate hunger and disease, educate youth and reduce environmental waste and energy consumption. For more information, visit www.topsmarkets.com.