Associated Wholesalers Inc (AWI), a regional cooperative food distributor, has obtained court approval for its acquisition by C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc, a leading US wholesale grocery supply company. Under terms of the approved agreement, C&S will purchase AWI and substantially all of its subsidiaries, including its White Rose distribution business. The company expects to close the transaction in early November 2014.
Matt Saunders, president and chief executive officer of AWI, said, “We are pleased to receive court approval for the sale of AWI and White Rose to C&S. The auction process was robust and competitive, and we believe that the winning bid from C&S is in the best interest of AWI and its stakeholders. C&S shares AWI’s commitment to providing customers and independent stores great deals on products and on helping them grow their businesses. AWI will further enhance C&S’s position as the leading wholesale grocery supply company, and we look forward to completing the sale. I would like to thank AWI and White Rose employees whose continued hard work and dedication enabled us to move through this process.” Until the transaction closes, AWI and White Rose will continue to operate independently of C&S. Court documents and additional information can be found at a dedicated website administrated by AWI’s claims agent, Epiq Systems: http://dm.epiq11.com/awi. Saul Ewing LLP and Rhoads & Sinon LLP are serving as legal advisors, Lazard Middle Market is serving as financial advisor, and Carl Marks Advisors is serving as restructuring advisor to AWI. C&S, based in Keene NH, supplies independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases, and other customers with more than 150,000 different products. It serves about 5,000 stores from more than 50 locations nationwide. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S also now services many large chains including Stop & Shop, Giant of Carlisle, Giant of Landover, BI-LO/Winn-Dixie, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co (A&P), Safeway, and Target.