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Target names new chief legal officer and general counsel

BY Gina Acosta

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has selected a Xerox veteran to serve as the retailer's next executive vice president, chief legal officer and general counsel.

Don Liu will oversee all legal, corporate governance and government affairs matters for the company, efefctive Aug. 22. He will report to chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell and serve as a member of Target’s leadership team.

Liu replaces Tim Baer, who will be retiring in July 2017 after 23 years with the company. Baer joined Dayton Hudson as assistant general counsel in 1994. He will serve in an advisory role for the next 12 months, supporting Liu’s transition to Target and ensuring the process is seamless.

“Tim’s leadership has been integral to Target’s success and we are grateful for his years of service. In all his years with the company, Tim has been a true guardian of the Target brand, bringing a sharp legal mind and rock-solid judgement to every challenge. He was a trusted voice on our leadership team, managing and mitigating issues and influencing our business during a time of intense change. He also developed a strong team of in-house legal talent and was a respected advisor to our board of directors. On behalf of the entire team, I thank Tim for the tremendous contributions he made to our brand and our business,” said Cornell. “As Tim transitions to retirement, I look forward to welcoming Don to our team. His extensive legal expertise as well as his deep business acumen will help us continue to navigate the increasingly complex business environment with the highest standards of ethics and integrity. I know Don will be an excellent addition to our leadership team.”

Liu, 55, joins Target from Xerox Corporation where he has served as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary since 2007. In that role, he was responsible for all of Xerox’s legal and government affairs matters. Prior to Xerox, Liu was senior vice president and chief compliance officer for Toll Brothers, Inc. and senior vice president and general counsel for Ikon Office Solutions. Liu has extensive professional affiliations, including being a member and former chairman of the board of directors for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and former chair of the in-house counsel committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

“I am privileged to join Target as general counsel. I have long admired Target and the legal team behind the brand. Joining the organization will provide me with an incredible opportunity to bring my passion for the law to one of the great retail companies in America. I look forward to building Target’s business and positively impacting its reputation,” said Liu.

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Ahold, Delhaize to divest 86 stores as companies await merger decision

BY David Salazar
ZAANDAM, The Netherlands and BRUSSELS, Belgium — As the Federal Trade Commission approaches a decision on their proposed merger, Delhaize Group and Ahold on Thursday announced that they would be divesting a combined total of 86 stores in areas where both their U.S. subsidiaries operate. 
 
The merger, which was announced last year and approved by the companies’s shareholders in March, will see Ahold paying $11 billion for Delhaize. The stores being sold make up 4.1% of the two companies’ total combined count of stores in the United States and 3.2% of combined net sales. 
 
“Selling stores is a difficult part of any merger process, given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate," Delhaize Group president and CEO Frans Muller said. “We believe we have made every effort to identify strong buyers for these locations, and we want to thank our loyal associates and customers who have shopped our stores and supported us for so many years. Upon the completion of the merger, we will continue to maintain our local Food Lion and Hannaford brands; however, our new company scale will enable us to accelerate our local market strategies to better serve our customers with nearly 2,000 stores along the East Coast in the United States.”
 
The buyers for the stores are:
  • New Albertson’s (part of Albertson’s) is purchasing one Giant Food store in Salisbury, Md.;
  • Big Y will be buying 8 Hannaford stores in eastern Massachusetts;
  • Publix is purchasing 10 Martin’s stores in Richmond, Va.;
  • Saubel’s Markets is purchasing one Food Lion store in York, Pa. 
  • Supervalu will be buying 22 Food Lion Stores across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia;
  • Tops Markets is purchasing one Stop & Shop store in Massachusetts and three Stop & Shop and two Hannaford locations in New York; and 
  • Weis Markets will purchase 38 Food Lion stores in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
 
“The combination of Ahold and Delhaize Group is a unique opportunity to deliver even more for customers, associates and local communities. Together, Ahold and Delhaize Group have been working hard to resolve the competition concerns raised by the FTC, and we are pleased to have found strong, wellestablished buyers for the stores we are required to divest.”
 
The companies expect a decision from the FTC by the end of July. 
 
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Weis Markets expands mid-Atlantic presence through acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. – Weis Markets on Thursday announced it has reached a definitive agreement with Food Lion to purchase the assets of 38 Food Lion supermarket locations operating in the states of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The company plans to complete the purchase of these locations pending regulatory approval.

"This transaction provides us the opportunity to expand into markets that are contiguous to our current trade area, particularly in Maryland where we are adding 21 stores — essentially doubling our store count in a state where we have steadily grown in recent years," stated Weis Markets chairman, president and CEO Jonathan Weis. "We're also looking forward to expanding our operations into two adjacent states with the addition of 13 stores in Virginia and four in Delaware."

Weis Markets expects to complete the conversion process for the majority of these stores in September and October.

This is the company's second major acquisition in 2016. In May, it announced plans to purchase five Mars Super Markets in Baltimore County, Maryland, a deal expected to close later this summer.

When both purchases are complete, Weis Markets will have increased the number of its operating stores by more than 25% and will operate 202 stores in seven states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia.

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