FLEMING CONSIDERS SELLING CORE-MARK DIVISION
id it was considering the sale or reorganization of its Core-Mark convenience-store distribution business, which is essentially all that remains of Fleming's ongoing operations after the liquidation of its retail and wholesale businesses under bankruptcy. Core-Mark, based in San Francisco, said it anticipates that bids will be due by December. The Blackstone Group, New York, is managing the sale process. Fleming, a grocery wholesaler, had acquired Core-Mark last year as part of a diversification effort.
SMART & FINAL SETTLES MANAGER SUITS FOR $9.3M
LOS ANGELES -- Smart & Final here said it has entered into an agreement that will have the company pay $7.5 million in cash and $1.5 million in scrip redeemable in its stores to settle all claims related to two class-action lawsuits involving compensation for California-based store managers. One of the suits asserted that California store managers and assistant managers were entitled to overtime pay, and the second challenged the company's calculation of store managers' profit sharing, according to Smart & Final. Smart & Final denied all liability and wrongdoing in the cases, and said it settled in order to avoid "the continuing distraction and expense of protracted litigation." The company said it had already recorded a charge in its second-quarter 2003 results to pay for the settlement.
FORMER TWIN COUNTY CEO PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD
TRENTON, N.J. -- Martin Vitale, former chairman and chief executive officer, Twin County Grocers, Edison, N.J., pleaded guilty late last month in U.S. District Court here to defrauding Twin County and the Internal Revenue Service, according to a spokeswoman in the office of Judge Stanley Chesler. Vitale, who also pleaded guilty to conspiring to make illegal payments to a union leader, is scheduled to be sentenced in December and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, the spokeswoman added. In January 1998, Twin County, a grocery cooperative whose 24 members operated about 125 stores in the Northeast and Puerto Rico, sued Vitale and others, charging they had stolen $12.7 million from the company between 1992 and April 1997, when Vitale was fired. A confidential settlement in that case was reached in 2001, according to published reports. Twin County filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 1998, and proceeded to liquidate its assets.
HY-VEE LEARNING PROGRAM WINS FMI AWARD
WASHINGTON -- The Food Marketing Institute here said last week it presented its 2003 Maximizing People Potential Award to Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, in recognition of the company's distinctive learning programs. FMI said Hy-Vee offers three training curricula designed to benefit employees through different stages of their careers: An e-learning program offers courses in customer service, communication and other topics; a management training program encourages college students who work at Hy-Vee to stay with the company after graduation; a third program for employees with an associated degree or less provides instruction about perimeter departments for those who intend to become department managers. Runners-up for the award were Bashas', Chandler, Ariz., for a program fostering bilingual skills; and Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., a subsidiary of the Belgium-based Delhaize Group, for a program bringing Eastern European students to work at stores in North Carolina's Outer Banks during tourist season.
ALBERTSONS FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH EEOC
BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons here said last week it has entered into a national partnership agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that calls on the company to submit all appropriate charges of employment discrimination filed with the EEOC to the agency's voluntary mediation-based alternative dispute resolution program.