OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fleming Cos. here has acquired controlling interest in CMI, the management company that operates the 24-unit Consumers Markets chain in Springfield, Mo.
Fleming has held a 40% interest in CMI since May 1990, when it took over the operation of Consumers' 270,000-square-foot distribution center -- a facility it subsequently closed.
Late last month Fleming traded an undisclosed amount of Fleming stock to Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, New York, to gain control of an additional 39% of CMI, giving it a 79% stake in the chain.
Consumers operates 19 stores in Missouri, primarily in the Joplin-Springfield area; four stores in northwest Arkansas, and one unit in southeast Kansas. Stores range from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet and have combined annual sales of more than $225 million.
Combined with the retail business Fleming picked up in its acquisition of Scrivner here last month, the acquisition of Consumers brings to $3 billion the volume generated by Fleming's corporate-owned retail stores.
Dave Miller, formerly general manager of Fleming's four-unit Megamarkets operation in Nashville, has been named president of Consumers, succeeding Jesse Lewis, who has left the company. Miller reports to Thomas L. Zaricki, senior vice president of retail operations at Fleming.
Robert E. Stauth, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Fleming, said Fleming added many talented retail associates through its acquisition of Scrivner, which, he said, provides Fleming an opportunity to increase its retail operations rapidly.
"Consumers is well-positioned in its market, with good stores and excellent locations, and fits well into our retail expansion plans," he said.