Empire closes $800 mln acquisition of Berkshire’s Farm Boy

Empire Co Ltd (TSX: EMP.A) has completed its acquisition of Farm Boy Inc, an Ottawa-based retail grocer specializing in fresh produce, meat, bakery, cheese and kitchen-prepared items.

The deal, announced in September, valued Farm Boy at $800 million.

The seller was U.S. private equity firm Berkshire Partners, which invested in the company in 2012.

Empire, a Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based food retailer, said Farm Boy Founder and co-CEO Jean-Louis Bellemare and co-CEO Jeff York will continue in their roles for the long-term.


Empire Company Completes Purchase of Farm Boy – Ontario’s Best-in-Class Food Retailer


Stellarton, NS – Empire Company Limited (“Empire” or the “Company”) (TSX: EMP.A) announced today that it has completed its purchase of Farm Boy, one of the most exciting, fastest growing and successful food retailers in the country. All closing conditions, including receipt of a no-action letter from the Competition Bureau, have been satisfied.

“We are thrilled to officially team up with Farm Boy,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO of Empire. “They have an incredible brand, great stores and customer service, and a superb leadership team. Founder and co-CEO Jean-Louis Bellemare and co–CEO Jeff York will remain investors in the company and will continue in their roles for the long term, managing the business separately from Empire’s broader operations. We look forward to turbo-charging Farm Boy’s growth and allowing them to broaden the reach of their winning formula.”

Empire, through a subsidiary, has acquired Farm Boy from Berkshire Partners and Farm Boy’s management shareholders based on a total enterprise value of $800 million. Farm Boy has been set up as a separate company within Empire’s structure and Farm Boy’s co-CEOs, together with members of their senior management team, have reinvested for a 12% interest of the continuing Farm Boy business. Sobeys Inc. will finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and a new $400 million, senior, unsecured non-revolving credit facility.

Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing and related real estate. With approximately $24.4 billion in annualized sales and $8.7 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 120,000 people.

Farm Boy fresh market stores have been providing a fun and friendly, fresh market shopping experience for over 36 years with legions of loyal fans in Brantford, Cambridge, Cornwall, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Pickering, Toronto (Etobicoke) and Whitby. Farm Boy currently operates 26 stores in Ontario, all of which are brimming with wholesome, healthy, tasty food choices.

For further information, please contact:

Media Contact
Cynthia Thompson
Vice President,
Communications & Corporate Affairs
Sobeys Inc.
(902) 752-8371 ext. 8455

Investor Contact
Katie Brine, CPA, CA, CBV
Director, Investor Relations
Sobeys Inc.
(905) 238-7124 ext. 2092