Paul D. Sobey Announces Retirement

STELLARTON, NS, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Empire Company Limited today announced its long-term succession plan.

Paul D. Sobey, a 32-year Empire employee, who has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since 1998, will retire from his position on December 11, 2013, while continuing as a director of the company.

"With the imminent closing of the Canada Safeway acquisition, Empire will be a truly operationally-focused, leading grocery retailer in this country. As such, the time is right for the transition of leadership," Mr. Sobey said.

Marc Poulin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sobeys Inc., will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited effective December 12, 2013.  Mr. Poulin will remain as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sobeys Inc.

Mr. Poulin joined Sobeys in 1997. He has held various senior executive roles with the company, including President of Sobeys' Québec division for 11 years prior to his appointment as President and CEO of Sobeys Inc. in June 2012.

"Our shareholders have truly benefited from our unwavering focus and commitment of continuously reallocating our capital and our management focus on the growth and development of our Sobeys food and related real estate businesses.

"I am very pleased that the board has appointed Marc Poulin to succeed me. Marc has been a major contributor to Sobeys' success and is extremely well positioned and ready to lead Empire as we integrate and capitalize on this new and exciting platform for growth.

"It has truly been an exciting 15 years as President and CEO, and I have been honoured to lead our company during this period. I look forward to assisting Marc and the board in the transition while continuing to serve as a director," Mr. Sobey continued.

Rob Dexter, Chair of Empire Company Limited's board of directors said:  "On behalf of the board, I thank Paul Sobey for his extraordinary accomplishments as CEO and throughout his 32-year career at Empire. Under his leadership, the company has transformed from a regional food retailer with other diversified operational investments and under $3 billion in sales, to a truly operationally-focused, national food retailer with pro-forma sales of $24 billion.

"The board has carefully planned for this leadership succession.  Marc is a seasoned and highly qualified food retailer with a solid reputation across the industry and proven abilities to lead Empire's food-focused strategy going forward."

Mr. Poulin said: "I am honoured by the board's confidence in me.  Our management teams are extremely excited about the Canada Safeway acquisition including the opportunity for long-term, sustainable value creation through cash flow, income growth and equity appreciation associated with this acquisition and future growth of our business."

About Empire Company Limited
Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.  Empire's key businesses include food retailing and related real estate.  With over $17 billion in annual sales and approximately $7.1 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries directly employ approximately 47,000 people.

Additional financial information relating to Empire, including the Company's Annual Information Form, can be found on the Company's website at www.empireco.ca or at www.sedar.com.

About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 105 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,300 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, Lawton's Drug Stores as well as more than 260 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 95,000 people. The company's goal is to be widely recognized as the best food retailer and workplace environment in Canada.  More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

SOURCE: Empire Company Limited

For further information:

Media Contact:  
Andrew Walker
Vice President,
Communications & Corporate Affairs
Sobeys Inc.
(905) 214-6711

Investor Contact:
Stewart Mahoney
Vice President,
Investor Relations
Empire Company Limited
(902) 755-4440 ext. 3499


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