CHAINS, UNIONS FAIL TO MEET CONTRACT DEADLINE
LOS ANGELES — The three chains involved in negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Southern California did not present an acceptable contract offer by last Thursday's deadline, leading to a vote over the weekend to authorize a strike, said Mike Shimpock, a UFCW spokesman, in a press conference last week. Albertsons workers had already authorized a strike — the vote over the weekend was for Ralphs and Vons workers. Shimpock said the chains' current proposal for funding health care benefits was not acceptable, and the union is also seeking wage increases. “They are saving millions of dollars a day when they are not negotiating, and they will string us along forever if we don't take a stand.”
DOLLAR GENERAL SALE OK'D; CEO TO RESIGN
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Shareholders of Dollar General here last week voted to approve the $6.9 billion takeover offer from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The approval paves the way to close the deal on or around July 6, at which time David Perdue, Dollar General's chief executive officer, is expected to resign from the company, Dollar General said. David L. Bere, currently president and chief operating officer, is expected to take over as interim CEO while a search for a permanent successor is undertaken. The Dollar General board of directors did not recommend its shareholders vote for or against the KKR deal, which was expected to load the company with about $5.4 billion in debt.
MARSH SELLS FLORAL BUSINESS TO PRESIDENT
INDIANAPOLIS — Marsh Supermarkets here last week said it had sold its McNamara Florist business to the division's president, Toomie Farris, who will operate McNamara as an independent business. Terms were not disclosed. Frank Lazaran, chairman and chief executive officer of Marsh, in a statement said the sale of McNamara would allow Marsh to concentrate on its core supermarket business. Marsh, which purchased McNamara in 2000, will continue to use McNamara as its floral supplier, but McNamara will no longer operate floral departments for Marsh stores.
AHOLD SHAREHOLDERS OK U.S. FOODSERVICE DEAL
AMSTERDAM — Shareholders of Ahold here in a special meeting last week voted to approve the $7.1 billion sale of Ahold's U.S. Foodservice subsidiary to a consortium of private equity buyers. The deal was announced last month. Shareholders also voted to approve a reverse stock split designed to return around $4 billion to them. The split would provide Ahold shareholders with a one-time payment of around $2.53 per share.
PIERCE REBANNERS FORMER PICK 'N SAVE STORES
BARABOO, Wis. — Pierce's Supermarkets here last week rebannered its Pick 'n Save stores here and in Portage, Wis., under the Pierce's Marketplace name. The switch is part of Pierce's transition to Affiliated Foods Midwest as its primary supplier, according to Jeff Maurer, president. Pierce's purchased the Portage store from Roundy's last month.
WAL-MART SEEKS TO DISMISS ROEHM SUIT: REPORT
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here is asking a Michigan court to dismiss a case against it by former advertising executive Julie Roehm, arguing the case should be held in Wal-Mart's home state of Arkansas. Wal-Mart made the request last week after a federal judge in Michigan declined to take over the case and sent it back to state court, where it was filed, according to a report in the Associated Press. Roehm, who was fired in December, filed suit in January seeking severance payment of $1.5 million. Wal-Mart has since countersued, charging Roehm with violations of company ethics policies.