C&S Wholesale Grocers to acquire 413 stores from Kroger and Albertsons merger


C&S Wholesale Grocers, a leading name in the U.S. wholesale grocery supply and supply chain solutions sector, is expanding its reach through a definitive agreement to acquire 413 stores, eight distribution centers, and two offices. The assets have been made available due to the merger between The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Companies Inc. While the financial terms are undisclosed, the deal is slated to close in early 2024, pending regulatory approval.

Expanding Brand Portfolio and Licensing Rights

The acquisition will include QFC, Mariano’s, and Carrs brands, along with exclusive licensing rights for the Albertsons brand name in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Wyoming. Additionally, C&S will add five private labels to their existing brand portfolio. Rick Cohen, Executive Chairman of C&S Wholesale Grocers, mentioned, “With more than 104 years in the rapidly changing grocery industry, the foundation of C&S’s success has been our ability to innovate.”

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Operational Management and Employee Retention

The stores will be operated by 1918 Winter Street Partners, an affiliate of C&S. C&S has committed to retaining all frontline employees and honoring existing collective bargaining agreements. The company will also continue to invest in growth, supporting these stores with its best-in-class capabilities. Eric Winn, designated Chief Executive Officer of C&S, stated, “This will also further enhance C&S’s ability to serve our customers as we will be in a unique position as a leading wholesale supplier and retailer.”

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Community Impact and Previous Experience

Mark McGowan, President of Retail at C&S, emphasized the company’s commitment to community service, stating that C&S looks forward to “keeping our communities fed.” C&S has extensive experience in merger processes and has a strong track record of successfully transitioning union employees and their associated collective bargaining agreements.

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Centerview Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acted as legal advisor to C&S Wholesale Grocers in this deal.

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