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NATION / WORLD: RETAILING

Richfood to Buy Dart in $207-Million Deal

April 10, 1998|Reuters

Wholesale food distributor Richfood Holdings Inc. said it reached a definitive agreement to buy Dart Group Corp. for $160 a share in cash, or about $207 million. Richfood said it plans to sell Dart's non-core assets, including the Trak Auto, Crown Books and Total Beverage retail chains, and to retain Dart's Shoppers Food Warehouse, a chain of 37 supermarkets around Washington, D.C. Dart's board unanimously approved the deal and recommended that shareholders accept it, Richfood said. The company said it will start a cash tender offer within five business days, and shares not purchased under the tender offer will be acquired in a subsequent deal, at the same price, as soon as possible thereafter. After the deal is completed, Shoppers Food Warehouse, with annual sales of about $850 million, will expand its presence in the Mid-Atlantic market, where Richfood is already the largest wholesale food distributor. Shares of Landover, Md.-based Dart jumped $23.50 to close at $163.50 on the Nasdaq, prompting speculation that other bidders might step in. Richmond, Va.-based Richfood closed up 88 cents at $28.44 on the NYSE.

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