GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spartan Stores here became a publicly-traded company last week following completion of its merger with Seaway Food Town, Maumee, Ohio.
Wednesday, the new common stock of Spartan Stores began trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol SPTN.
For the fiscal year ended March 25, Spartan said the combined companies had pro forma sales of $3.8 billion and operating cash flow of $112 million.
According to James B. Meyer, Spartan president and chief executive officer, "This is certainly an exciting moment in Spartan Stores' history. Becoming a publicly-traded company provides us access to capital markets that can help fund our future growth plans.
"We understand Wall Street's microscope on a public company's financial performance, and -- between the synergies of the merger and several initiatives in place to improve efficiency -- we are working on significantly improving our operating margin."
As previously disclosed, Spartan said it expects annual synergies to exceed $6 million in the first full fiscal year ending March 30, 2002, with increases in succeeding years, primarily from purchasing leverage, volume efficiencies and overhead reductions.
The merger added 47 Food Town supermarkets and 26 deep-discount drugstores called The Pharm to Spartan's store base of 46 supermarkets. The acquired stores are in northwestern and central Ohio and southeastern Michigan.