U.S. FOODSERVICE AXES 10 EXECUTIVES: REPORT
has dismissed 10 more executives, according to published reports last week. USF's overstatement of earnings by more than $800 million between 2000 and 2002 was at the heart of an accounting scandal that caused its parent company, Ahold, Zaandam, Netherlands, to post a $1.4 billion loss for last year, although the reports said the dismissals were not directly related to the earnings misstatement. A representative of USF was not available for comment. Also last week, Ahold said it would release its results for the first half of 2003 on Nov. 7, about three weeks later than it previously indicated. At that time, the company also is expected to disclose its strategy for ongoing operations. Other items on Ahold's financial calendar include a restatement of 2002 earnings based on U.S. accounting rules, set for Oct. 15, and publication of its 2003 annual report on Oct. 31. Ahold also scheduled its annual meeting of shareholders for Nov. 26, when it also expects to publish its third-quarter 2003 earnings report.
UNIONS URGE ACTION ON SALE OF DOMINICK'S
PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Two Chicago-area United Food and Commercial Workers Union locals said last week they are not convinced that Safeway here has been following through on the commitment it made in November to sell Dominick's Supermarkets, its Chicago-area subsidiary. In a joint statement, UFCW Locals 881 and 1546, which represent Dominick's workers, said they have never seen any proof that there has been "a true bidder" for Dominick's nor has the company ever outlined the bidding process to the union. The locals urged Safeway to appoint a new chief executive officer for Dominick's; to negotiate a new contract with the locals; and to participate in a joint membership-management committee that "would cooperatively seek realistic solutions to revitalize Dominick's." A Safeway representative was not available for contact.
ROUNDY'S TO BUY SEVEN MILWAUKEE-AREA KOHL'S STORES
PEWAUKEE, Wis. -- Roundy's said last week it has signed an agreement to purchase seven Kohl's Food Stores in the Milwaukee-area from A&P. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close Oct. 31, are confidential, according to a Roundy's spokesman, who added that the units will be reflagged with the Pick 'n Save banner.
COUCHE-TARD ROUNDS UP CIRCLE K C-STORE CHAIN
MONTREAL -- Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard here said last week it agreed to acquire The Circle K Corp. from ConocoPhillips for $830 million. The acquisition would make Couche-Tard the fourth-largest C-store operator in North America with a combined network of 4,630 stores, the company said. Circle K operates 1,663 corporate stores in 16 states, mostly in the South, and franchises or licenses another 350 stores. The transaction is expected to close in December.
ACOSTA TO BUY MARYLAND SALES & MARKETING FIRM
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Acosta Sales and Marketing Co. here said it agreed to acquire Priority Food Brokers, a Columbus, Md.-based fresh-foods sales and marketing agency serving markets in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Terms of the acquisition, scheduled to be completed Oct. 31, were not disclosed. Priority is owned by partners Joe Barrie and Ted Kopp, who told SN they plan to remain with Acosta.
BOZZUTO'S TO SUPPLY NATIONAL WHOLESALE LIQUIDATORS
CHESHIRE, Conn. -- Bozzuto's here said it has reached an agreement to become the supplier of grocery, perishables and specialty food for National Wholesale Liquidators, Westbury, N.Y., a 41-store discount chain. Bozzuto's said the chain carries more than 120,000 items, about half of which are brand-name closeout goods; the remainder are everyday household products and food items.