Homeland Employees Buy Chain From AWG

OKLAHOMA CITY A group of employees has acquired the corporate supermarkets that had been operated by Associated Wholesale Grocers of Kansas City, Kan., the companies said Wednesday.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. It was executed effective Dec. 27 through the formation of a new company that will convert to an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP.

The new company, Oklahoma City-based Homeland Acquisition Corp., now includes 76 retail locations operating under the Homeland, United of Oklahoma, and Country Mart banners in Oklahoma and the Super Save banner in northern Texas.

AWG had acquired 44 of the stores, the Homeland chain, out of bankruptcy in 2002 in a deal valued at “more than $47 million,” SN reported at the time. Homeland had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. It reported a little over $500 million in annual sales for that year, which included sales from 24 additional locations shuttered before the AWG acquisition.

“AWG has been a very progressive owner, investing in remodeling and updating locations,” said Darryl Fitzgerald, president of HAC, in a statement. “They furnished us with the resources to help our company recover and then begin to grow.”

In 2008, AWG’s Homeland division expanded through the purchase of United Supermarkets of Oklahoma, which was operating 26 locations at that time and was based in Altus, Okla.

Jerry Garland, AWG president and chief operating officer, said the Homeland management and employee team “has completed a turnaround and is now on solid footing to build a more competitive organization focused on meeting their customers’ needs.”

Supermarket News – 12/28/11 by Mark Hamstra