Employees Acquires Homeland from Associated Wholesale Grocers
December 27, 2011
Homeland Acquisition Corp. (HAC), a grocery store chain in Oklahoma and Texas, and United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1000 partnered to transition the company to 100% employee ownership using an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) from Associated Wholesale Grocers, a retail-owned cooperative.
As part of the transition, HAC and UFCW negotiated a new contract and the terms of the ESOP, as well as a number of corporate governance provisions for the new company. Aided in negotiations by several advisors including AWC Advisors, LLC, UFCW and HAC agreed on: 1) a new defined benefit plan; 2) ESOP participation for union members, 3) a significant role for the union on the board of directors, and 4) a representation agreement covering any new stores opened by the company.
According to UFCW Local 1000 President Ricky Burris, "UFCW members are excited to own a majority of HAC stock and are eager to work with management to achieve continued success for the company. We take seriously the responsibilities that come with ownership, representation on the board of directors, and a voice in major corporate decisions."
AWG President and CEO Jerry Garland said, “Since the AWG acquisition of a number of these stores brought them out of bankruptcy in 2002, this management and employee team has completed a turnaround and is now on solid footing to build a more competitive organization focused on meeting their customers’ needs. AWG is pleased to be selling 100 percent of the company to its employees, which will allow them to enjoy the fruits of their efforts as owners of their own business.”
About Homeland Acquistion Corp.
Homeland Acquisition Corp. operates Homeland, United Supermarkets of Oklahoma, Country Mart stores in Oklahoma and Super Save stores in north central Texas. HAC operates 76 retail stores, the bulk of which were purchased out of bankruptcy by Associated Wholesale Grocers in September 2002.
About AWC Advisors
AWC Advisors, LLC is the advisory arm of American Working Capital, a merchant banking firm headquartered in Chicago, with additional offices in New York, Boston and Atlanta. With over 150 years of collective experience, AWC Advisors’ investment professionals have worked with hundreds of owners and management teams running businesses at critical inflection points in terms of their ownership, growth and strategic development. AWC Advisors has extensive experience in transactions and investments involving broader-based employee ownership or ESOPs and has been at the forefront of some the most innovative and successful management/employee-led buy-out and recapitalization transactions to date. The firm is owned and managed by a group of experienced financial and management professionals with extensive experience working with privately held businesses, their owners and management teams.
For more information on AWC Advisors, LLC or American Working Capital please visit www.awcadvisors.com or contact Bryce C. May directly at 312-244-6955; firstname.lastname@example.org