STELLARTON, NS, Nov. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A)
and its wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc. today announced that Sobeys
has completed its purchase of substantially all of the assets of
Canada Safeway in accordance with the asset purchase agreement
announced on June 12, 2013 and the consent agreement with the
Competition Bureau announced on October 22, 2013.
"This is a great day in the 106-year history of Sobeys," said Paul D.
Sobey, President & Chief Executive Officer, Empire Company Limited.
"The addition of Canada Safeway represents a unique and highly
strategic opportunity to leverage Sobeys' modern asset base and
provides us with a new and exciting platform for growth as we move
Marc Poulin, President & Chief Executive Officer, Sobeys Inc. added: "We
welcome the 29,000 Safeway employees to the Sobeys team as we move
forward together as one company, excited to serve the food shopping
needs of consumers in Western Canada."
Sobeys funded the CDN $5.8 billion purchase price through application of
proceeds from the following:
$1.85 billion from Empire primarily from Empire's equity issue completed
in July, 2013;
$989 million net proceeds from Sobeys' bond offering completed in
$991 million from the disposition of 70 Canada Safeway properties to
Crombie REIT; and
$1.97 billion in bank credit facilities and cash on hand.
As a result of the completion of the acquisition of Canada Safeway
assets, each outstanding subscription receipt of Empire has been
automatically exchanged for one Class A non-voting share of Empire and
a cash dividend-equivalent payment of CDN. $0.26 (being equal to the
aggregate amount of dividends declared per Class A share for which
record dates have occurred since the issuance of the subscription
receipts), less any applicable withholding taxes. Empire expects that
the subscription receipts will be delisted from the Toronto Stock
Exchange after the close of markets today and that the Class A shares
issued in exchange for the subscription receipts will immediately
commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Empire further expects
that holders of subscription receipts will receive in the upcoming days
the Class A shares and the dividend equivalent payment to which they
are entitled. Further information regarding the acquisition and the
exchange of the subscription receipts is available under Empire's
issuer profile at www.sedar.com.
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 pro forma annual sales of
approximately $24 billion and assets of approximately $12.5 billion,
Empire and its subsidiaries, including franchisees and affiliates,
employ more than 124,000 people.
About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys
has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 106 years. A
wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys
owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under
retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo,
Thrifty Foods, and Lawton's Drug Stores as well as more than 330 retail
fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than
124,000 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.
This news release contains forward-looking information reflecting
management's expectations regarding pro forma information and the
exchange of subscription receipts for Class A shares. The
forward-looking statements in this news release are subject to a number
of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to
differ materially from current expectations. No assurance can be given
that pro forma information will reflect future financial performance or
position which may be impacted by future acquisitions or dispositions
and market conditions. The Company does not undertake to update any
forward-looking statements that may be made from time to time by them
or on their behalf other than as required by applicable securities
SOURCE: SOBEYS INC.
For further information:
Communications & Corporate Affairs
Investor Relations Contact
Stewart Mahoney, CFA
Vice President, Treasury & Investor Relations
Empire Company Limited
(902) 755-4440 ext. 3499