The National Grocers Association’s (NGA's) planned merger with Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA) has been put on hold indefinitely as the respective associations regroup. The pending merger was first announced in November and was to have taken effect Jan. 1, but officials from both associations have confirmed that unexpected events put a halt to proceedings.
Winsight Grocery Business reached out to Francis Cameron, president and CEO of ROFDA, who said he was no longer operating in an official capacity for either ROFDA or NGA and directed all communication to ROFDA Chairman David Bullard.
A joint statement released this week by NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara and Bullard said: “In light of a number of unexpected circumstances, NGA and ROFDA have decided to pause the planned acquisition of ROFDA by NGA. While our two organizations continue to share a strong and collaborative relationship, it’s clear now is not the time to proceed as originally planned.”
In seeking to clarify the future of the organization, WGB reached out to Bullard, who noted that ROFDA will continue to operate as it did premerger talks with its members, which will continue to receive the full benefits of the organization, including share groups, buying programs and a fall conference. ROFDA represents wholesale cooperatives.
Bullard told WGB both organizations plan to continue their collaborative relationship.
“Our organizations will continue working closely on programs and initiatives that are beneficial and bring value to our members. In fact, ROFDA will be hosting a number of share groups and meetings in conjunction with the NGA Show held this February,” the joint statement noted. “Both of our organizations are committed to ensuring a vibrant independent supermarket industry, and we plan to continue our important work on behalf of our members while collaborating as we have for decades.”
“The relationship between NGA and ROFDA has never been better, and both Greg and I look forward to continue working closely together,” Bullard told WGB. “Both organizations have always worked very closely with each other, and nothing will change that going forward. Several people serve on the boards of both ROFDA and NGA and there is tremendous respect, cooperation and support for each other from each organization.”