SpartanNash Co. has reached an agreement to acquire the 21-store Midwest independent Martin’s Super Markets Inc., expanding its retail footprint to adjacent markets of northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan and executing a corporate strategy to provide an exit option for its distribution customers.
For the fiscal year ending July 29, 2018, South Bend, Ind.-based Martin’s posted more than $450 million in net sales.
In a recent earnings call, SpartanNash President and CEO David Staples hinted at the company's desire to continue acquiring independents. “I believe the next couple of years will provide continued opportunity for us to execute our strategy of participating in the consolidation of the food industry as companies decide to exit this competitive landscape at more reasonable valuations," he said.
At the time of the announcement, Staples noted that the move is consistent with its long-term strategic growth strategy and he believes the “investment in our corporate retail business will help us take full advantage of our opportunities to generate value for all SpartanNash stakeholders.”
The move would also boost SpartanNash's struggling retail segment, marked by a 3.7% sales decline in the third quarter.
Rob Bartels, Martin’s president, and grandson of its founders, said the retailer was looking for a partner that could be trusted with its family legacy of “exceptional customer service, quality products and value.”
“We found that partner in SpartanNash,” he said. “SpartanNash has been a valued and capable partner, and our partnership has grown and strengthened over time. We share similar values, a passion for the business, and cultures based on excellent customer service, stewardship of our brands, and commitment to our communities and teams. We look forward to a robust and dynamic future for the Martin’s family.”
Family owned Martin's was founded in 1947. It operates 21 stores in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan with about 3,500 employees. The transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of the fiscal year ending Dec. 28, 2018, and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Martin’s was advised in the transaction by PJ Solomon, the same firm that earlier this week represented another family-owned food merchant, Best Markets, find a new parent in Lid.
“Martin’s like so many of our family-owned clients around the country, has served as a pillar of its communities for generations,” Scott Moses, head of the food retail and restaurant investment banking at PJ Solomon, said. “We are so proud to have been a part of this wonderful transaction, working with this exceptional team.”