Bakers and Willkie advise on Aldi's acquisition of Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket

Deal sees supermarket giant add 400 stores in the Southeastern region of the US
MIAMI, FLORIDA USA - 08-22-2022 Exterior of a Winn Dixie store in Miami, Florida.

Shutterstock; Deutschlandreform

Baker McKenzie and Willkie Farr & Gallagher have advised on Aldi’s purchase of around 400 stores in the Southeastern region of the US.

The global supermarket giant, advised by Bakers, is acquiring the Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores owned by Southeastern Grocers (SEG), advised by Willkie.

Under a proposed merger agreement, which has been approved by the holders of a majority of SEG’s outstanding shares, Aldi will acquire all outstanding SEG capital stock in an all-cash transaction encompassing the Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket banners. The sum is undisclosed.

The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2024, is part of the divestiture of SEG's portfolio, which will also see it sell its third brand, Fresco y Más, to an investment LLC.

The 400 stores being acquired by Aldi are concentrated in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, and will take aggressive growth in its regional US stronghold to “another level”, according to Retail TouchPoinsts.

The Bakers team advising Aldi was led by New York-based M&A partner Michelle Heisner, aided by associates Asama Itseumah, William Morici, Zachary Bassen and Maxim Tsotsorin.

The New York-based Willkie team representing SEG on both deals as transaction counsel was led by co-chair of M&A Adam Turteltaub and partner Manuel Miranda assisted by associates Madison Wiles-Haffner and Michael Manopla. A team form Kirkland & Ellis advised SEG on antitrust matters. 

Aldi first established its presence in the region in the mid-1990s and says it has invested $2.5bn, most recently through the opening of its 26th regional headquarters and distribution centre in Loxley, Alabama.

Jason Hart, Aldi’s CEO, said: " The transaction supports our long-term growth strategy across the United States, including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year to reach a total of more than 2,400 stores by year-end."

Bakers’ relationship with Aldi also extends to Australia. In 2020 it advised it on the sale and leaseback of four logistics and warehouse facilities located in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Meanwhile, SEG‘s Fresco y Más brand, comprising 28 stores and four pharmacies, is being sold concurrently to investment group Fresco Retail Group, LLC.

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