STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Severance payments and inventory write-offs related to a restructuring of its distribution network, as well as costs related to its going-private transaction, contributed to a 13.5% decline in fourth-quarter earnings for Sobeys here. Empire Co. last month completed the acquisition of Sobeys shares it did not already own, taking the retailer private. Sobeys' financial results from this point will be reflected within the results of Empire, a publicly traded holding ...

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