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Wakefern Food Corp. Successfully Closes on Sale of Big V Supermarkets, Inc. To Wakefern Subsidiary.

ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Wakefern Food Corp. announced that it had successfully closed on its purchase of Big V Supermarkets, Inc. on July 12, 2002 for approximately $185 million in cash and assumed liabilities. The purchase completes a joint plan of reorganization that was confirmed by U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on June 27, 2002. The purchase included substantially all of Big V's assets, including 27 stores in the Hudson Valley region of New York and central New Jersey. Big V filed for Chapter 11 on November 22, 2000 and is headquartered in Florida, N.Y.

According to Thomas Infusino, chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp., "The acquisition of Big V by ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Wakefern, will ensure the future of our cooperative and will strengthen our position as the leading supermarket retailer in the region." ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. (SRS), which was founded in 1965, currently operates 8 stores in New York and New Jersey.

Wakefern/ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. simultaneously closed the financing associated with this transaction. The Prudential Insurance Company of America and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company were the lead providers of financing for the acquisition.

Kevin Mannix, president and COO of ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. said, "We believe that both Big V Associates and Customers will benefit from the acquisition by SRS. We look forward to enhancing the training provided to our Associates and will aggressively begin rebuilding our relationship with ShopRite Customers in that region." According to Mr. Mannix, the stores will also benefit from upgrades in technology, remodeling and an expansion of the products and services offered to customers. Kevin Mannix joined Wakefern in 1977 and was appointed as the President of SRS in 1997. SRS is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and will also maintain operations in Florida, New York.

Wakefern Food Corp. is a retailer-owned cooperative and the wholesale merchandising and distribution arm for ShopRite supermarkets. The 40 Wakefern members operate approximately 180 stores under the ShopRite name and are located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware.

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Contact: Karen Meleta of Wakefern Food Corporation, +1-732-906-5363, karen.meleta@wakefern.com
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Comment:Wakefern Food Corp. Successfully Closes on Sale of Big V Supermarkets, Inc.
Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Jul 25, 2002
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