EXECUTIVES BUY OUT NO FRILLS CHAIN
OMAHA, Neb. — No Frills Supermarkets here said last week it has reached an agreement to sell the company to a group of seven of the chain's executives. Terms of the transaction, which was advised by The Food Partners and is slated to close by early summer, were not disclosed. The buyers are: Fred Witecy, president and COO; Steve Moskovits, controller; Lonnie Eggers, VP-marketing; Kevin Hennessy, VP-perishables; Joe Bosco, director of human resources; Bill Brewer, director of IT; and Calvin McWilliams, director of operations. Richard Juro, chairman and CEO, is the seller.
SUPERVALU TO CUT 135 POSITIONS
MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu here said last week it has decided to partner with a third-party provider to perform certain services within its finance function — a decision that will result in eliminating 135 positions from the company's finance and accounting team. Supervalu said in a statement the decision was made “after months of careful analysis [as] part of our ongoing efforts to improve operational efficiencies and enhance our competitiveness.” Supervalu did not name the third-party provider. The transition will occur over 12-18 months.
A&P SUES UNION OVER HANDBILL
MONTVALE, N.J. — A&P here has filed suit against the union representing butchers at its Pathmark, Waldbaum's and Food Emporium stores for distributing what the retailer called a “libelous and defamatory” handbill that interfered with business and called the quality of its meat products into question. The leaflets, distributed by representatives of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 342, urged customers to buy fresh meat and suggested that frozen meat may have been warehoused for years, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by SN. The union distributed the bills in at least seven stores prior to Memorial Day. Local 342 in a statement last week said the suit was “bogus and harassing,” and that union activity at stores that weekend helped improve sales.
COURT CONSOLIDATES HANNAFORD SUITS
PORTLAND, Maine — More than 20 lawsuits stemming from Hannaford Bros.' credit card security breach have been consolidated and assigned to U.S. Federal Court here, court filings show. Judge Brock Hornby will hear the case, which alleges the Scarborough, Maine-based retailer — along with sister chain Sweetbay Supermarkets, Tampa, Fla. — failed to safeguard its customers' credit and debit card information, which was compromised by hackers last winter.
FBI SEIZES CHAIN'S ETHICS GUIDELINES
LANHAM, Md. — Correspondence regarding the transfer of a liquor license between stores and intersection improvements at the site of another store were among items seized by federal investigators at Shoppers Food & Pharmacy's headquarters here as part of an investigation into Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Maryland state legislator who also served as a consultant for Shoppers, according to an evidence recovery log released last week. The FBI also seized copies of ethics guidelines issued by Shoppers and its parent company, Supervalu, during the May 29 raid, records show. As reported last week in SN, Currie in 2005 co-sponsored a bill approving a liquor license transfer, which was passed despite strong community opposition. Currie reportedly did not properly disclose his employment with Shoppers.