Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie are going public again—sort of. The chains said on Thursday (Sept. 26) that that their parent, Southeastern Grocers, has filed for a $500 million IPO. But even after it starts issuing stock, the chains will still be controlled by private equity firm Lone Star, according to theJacksonville Business Journal.
The company didn't say how many shares the IPO was expected to sell, the price range for the shares or how much would still be owned by Lone Star. But in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Southeastern Grocers said it planned to raise at least $500 million, and the resulting corporation would be a "controlled company," a designation that lets the company exempt itself from rules requiring independent directors.
"Lone Star acting on its own has sufficient voting power to effectively control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval," the SEC filing said. Four of the nine board members will be affiliated with Lone Star.
The IPO isn't completely a surprise. Reuters reported in August that the grocery company had hired Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank to put the deal together, but at the time neither the company nor the banks would confirm that there was an IPO plan. (The list of banks was correct.) In addition, Lone Star is long overdue for cashing in on the Bi-Lo chain, which it bought eight years ago. It added Winn-Dixie in March 2012 and announced in May that it will buy the Harveys, Reid's and Sweetbay chains.
The combined grocery store company had $5.5 billion in sales this year through July 10 for a net income of $208 million, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal.
- See this Jacksonville Business Journal story
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