SUPERVALU INC., Minneapolis, entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Associated Grocers of Florida, Pompano Beach, Fla., for approximately $180 million.

This transaction provides SUPERVALU with the ability to expand its operations into a new part of Florida as well as present new opportunities to bring SUPERVALU's products and services to Associated Grocers' diverse customer base in South Florida, the Caribbean and other international markets.

Founded in 1945, Associated Grocers is a retailer-owned cooperative that distributes full lines of grocery and general merchandise to independent retailers, primarily in South Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Asia.

"Associated Grocers represents a great opportunity for us to further expand our wholesale business into another important region," says Mark Gross, SUPERVALU's president and CEO. "We believe SUPERVALU is uniquely positioned to be the supplier of choice across the grocery industry, and this acquisition is another example of how we're delivering on our growth strategy. Christopher Miller and his talented team have done outstanding work to build and support a dynamic and diverse retailer base. We're looking forward to welcoming the strengths and talents of the Associated Grocers team to SUPERVALU and working together so that, once the transaction is complete, we can bring the benefits of our combined scale and expertise to their customers to help them better compete in the evolving grocery industry."

"I'm very excited about this announcement," says Christopher Miller, president of Associated Grocers. "Being a part of SUPERVALU will provide us with access to resources, products, services and overall capabilities that are essential to helping us continue to provide top-notch support to our customers. SUPERVALU and Associated Grocers share a common dedication and commitment to the independent retailer, and together, we'll be in a great position to provide opportunities, innovation and increased value to our customers, both domestically and in foreign markets."

Following completion of the merger, Associated Grocers will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of SUPERVALU.