Spartan Stores, Nash Finch finalize merger

New company to be called SpartanNash

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores and Nash Finch Company on Tuesday announced the completion of their merger. Spartan Stores will use the corporate name of SpartanNash Company, with the official name change to SpartanNash expected to become effective at the annual shareholders meeting in May 2014. 

The combined company will continue to conduct business as Spartan Stores, Nash Finch and MDV in their respective markets. 

"This merger brings together two highly complementary organizations to form a leader in the grocery wholesale, retail and military commissary and exchange channels," said Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Spartan Stores. "We look forward to leveraging our new platform with its broader customer base and geographic reach to create significant long-term value for our shareholders. 

Spartan Stores and Nash Finch shareholders approved the merger during separate shareholder meetings held Nov. 18. More than 99% of Spartan Stores shares voting on the proposed issuance of stock to Nash Finch stockholders in the merger voted in favor. More than 98% of Nash Finch shares voting on the proposal voted in favor of the merger. 

SpartanNash's Board of Directors includes seven directors from Spartan Stores' previous board and four directors from Nash Finch's previous board. In addition to Craig Sturken, who will serve as chairman, and Eidson, president and CEO, the other members of the board include Shan Atkins, Frank Gambino, Yvonne Jackson, Elizabeth Nickels and Timothy J. O'Donovan — all former members of the board of directors of Spartan Stores — along with former Nash Finch board members William Voss, Mickey Foret, Douglas Hacker and Hawthorne Proctor.

Along with completing the merger, SpartanNash has changed its fiscal year end from the last Saturday in March to the Saturday closest to December 31. This date change results in a transition period with a 15-week third quarter this year versus a 16-week third quarter last year and a 39-week fiscal year ending December 28, 2013 versus a 52-week fiscal year ending March 30, 2013. Approximately six weeks of Nash Finch's sales and earnings contributions will be included in Spartan's third-quarter and fiscal year results.

SpartanNash expects that the transaction will create cost synergies of approximately $20 million, $35 million and $52 million in fiscal years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

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