CARTERET, N.J. -- White Rose Food here has reportedly signed a letter of intent to acquire Twin County Grocers, Edison, N.J., local observers told SN last week.
Officials at White Rose declined comment, and officials at Twin County could not be reached last week for comment. Observers said White Rose will shortly begin due diligence research on Twin County's finances, and if all is found to be satisfactory, the two companies will finalize the deal. White Rose is a division of DiGiorgio Corp. here.
Twin County has been a likely acquisition candidate since March, when it hired a financial adviser to help it explore strategic alternatives. Those alternatives included a partnership, a merger or a sale, company officials told SN at the time.
The company said last spring the decision to explore strategic alternatives was "somewhat related" to an alleged embezzlement scheme, in which three former Twin County officials and seven others are accused of stealing $12.7 million from the wholesaler between 1993 and 1997.
The company acknowledged that the alleged theft had negatively affected its finances. The wholesaler has filed a civil lawsuit against the alleged embezzlers seeking triple damages, or approximately $38 million.
Twin County operates distribution facilities here and in West Nyack, N.Y. It has 29 members operating about 125 supermarkets trading under the Foodtown and D'Agostino banners in New York and New Jersey and the Grande banner in Puerto Rico.
White Rose has distribution facilities in Garden City, N.Y., Woodbridge, N.J., and here. It has approximately 1,000 customers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 25% of which are convenience stores.