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Will BI-LO sell high?

BY DSN STAFF

BRUSSELS, Belgium —Supermarket operator Delhaize Group has expressed a desire to buy out most of southern U.S. supermarket chain BI-LO, the Belgian company announced earlier this month.

Delhaize sent BI-LO a nonbinding letter of intent stating that it wished to buy a “substantial majority” of BI-LO’s assets for $425 million. The chain, headquartered in Mauldin, S.C., operates 214 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, and employs more than 15,000 people. Of the 214 stores, 120 have pharmacies, according to Chain Store Guide.

Delhaize, which operates the competing Food Lion chain, made the move in light of BI-LO’s recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “We at Food Lion LLC have great admiration for the associates and stores at BI-LO,” Delhaize EVP and Food Lion president and CEO Rick Anicetti stated. “We believe our markets and service philosophy are complementary, and we look forward to continuing our discussions with BI-LO.”

BI-LO has signed the letter of intent, which signals that it prefers to sell the assets to Delhaize, though the offer remains subject to court approval and other conditions.

“All options for BI-LO remain under consideration, and we believe it is important to carefully review our options and determine the most appropriate course of action in the context of the Chapter 11 process,” BI-LO president and CEO Michael Byars stated. “The company plans to work constructively with all parties in order to effectuate a successful restructuring.”

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Hy-Vee celebrates the other white meat

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A lot of people complain about pork barrel spending, but not Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee.

October is National Pork Month, and the West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee announced Friday that sales of the meat have increased more than 25% over October 2008. The chain said it was on track to increase pork tonnage by more than 30%.

 

“With pork prices the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade, we’ve focused our marketing efforts on promoting pork as a great value for consumers,” Hy-Vee assistant VP meat operations Kenan Judge said in a statement. “Today’s shopper is looking for nutritious, economical meal ideas, and pork perfectly fits the bill.”

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Patients prefer new diabetes drug Victoza over its competitor, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL A new diabetes drug satisfied patients more than its competitor, according to a study funded by the drug’s manufacturer.

According to data on 379 patients who took the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaires, presented Thursday at the 20th World Diabetes Congress and published in medical journal The Lancet, patients taking Novo Nordisk’s drug Victoza (liraglutide) perceived less abnormally low or high blood sugar levels — known respectively as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia — than those taking Byetta (exenatide), made by Eli Lilly & Co., Amylin Corp. and Alkermes.

Victoza is approved in Europe, but Novo Nordisk is still waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

“Liraglutide has shown here in a convincing study that it is associated with less nausea, less perceived hypoglycemia and definitely higher patient satisfaction compared to exenatide,” principal investigator Wolfgang Schmidt said in a statement. “Patient-reported outcomes data is an important extension of the efficacy data. If a patient is satisfied with his or her treatment, then they are much more likely to really stick to the treatment over the long term, which is necessary in Type 2 diabetes.”

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