"Combine and conquer" is the motto at BI-LO Holding. The parent company for the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie supermarket chains boasts more than 700 stores across eight southeastern states. The BI-LO supermarket chain operates some 205 BI-LO and Super BI-LO grocery stores in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee. Winn-Dixie operates about 480 combination food and drug stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi under the Winn-Dixie and Winn-Dixie Marketplace banners. BI-LO Holding was formed in 2012 when BI-LO's owner, Dallas-based Lone Star Holdings, acquired Winn-Dixie for about $560 million and merged the two companies. Lone Star has decided not to pursue an IPO for BI-LO Holding filed in 2013.
The parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie in September 2103 filed an initial public offering under the name Southeastern Grocers to raise up to $500 million. Southeastern Grocers would have been the publicly-traded parent company of BI-LO, Winn-Dixie, and about 175 acquired stores. However, the IPO was withdrawn in August 2014 with no reason given.
Florida is the company's largest market, home to more than 400 of its stores. South Carolina is home to about 145 supermarkets, followed by Georgia and Alabama with 113 stores and 68 stores, respectively. The regional grocery chain also has stores in Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Combined Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo rang up an estimated $10.3 billion in sales in 2013, up from $9.9 billion in sales in 2012, making BI-LO Holding one of the nation's top grocery store operators.
The strategy behind the merger of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie was to realize efficiencies from the combined operations of the two chains, although BI-LO and Winn-Dixie continue to operate under their own banners. However, functions, including supply chain, human resources, and store support, were combined. Now,
Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments
In June 2014 the company completed the acquisition of substantially all the stores in the Sweetbay, Harveys, and Reid's supermarket chains from Delhaize for $246 million in cash. As part of the acquisition deal, the company will add to its southeastern US holdings with 72 Sweetbay stores, leases for 10 prior Sweetbay locations, 72 Harveys stores, and 11 Reid's stores. (The Sweetbay stores will be converted to the Winn-Dixie banner, creating a more formidable rival to market leader Publix, which Winn-Dixie has long trailed.)
Also, in 2013 BI-LO purchased 21 Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina and Georgia. The chain is taking the opposite tack in North Carolina, where it sold seven of its supermarkets in the Charlotte area to Publix.
The March 2012 buyout of Winn-Dixie by Lone Star and its merger with BI-LO, joined two of the South's mainstay regional supermarket chains and expanded their scale with no geographic overlap. Post merger, BI-LO Holding moved its headquarters to Jacksonville, Florida, home of Winn-Dixie. Jacksonville is centrally located to serve BI-LO's eight-state operating area.