After Merger, Nash Finch Becomes “SpartanNash”

The merger of Nash Finch and Spartan Stores created SpartanNash Company, although the former brand names will continue to be used in their respective markets.

The $1.3 billion merger of Nash Finch Company and Spartan Stores is complete, and the combined entity will take on the moniker SpartanNash Company.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocery distributor and retailer Spartan Stores said in July that it planned to merge with Edina-based Nash Finch, one of Minnesota’s 20 largest public companies based on revenue. Nash Finch distributes food to conventional supermarkets and military commissaries, and its sales totaled $4.8 billion at the end of its most recent fiscal year.

The two companies said Tuesday that the merger is complete. While the business will be officially named SpartanNash, it will continue to operate under the Spartan Stores and Nash Finch brands in their respective markets. The corporate name change becomes official in May.

The combined company’s stock will now trade under the “SPTN” symbol on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. The two companies’ shareholders approved the merger during separate meetings held Monday. Under terms of the deal, each share of Nash Finch stock was converted into 1.2 shares of Spartan Stores stock. Former Spartan Stores shareholders own 57.7 percent of the new company, while former Nash Finch stockholders own 42.3 percent.

SpartanNash’s board, meanwhile, now includes seven directors from Spartan Stores’ previous board and four directors from Nash Finch’s previous board. The companies said that the merger is expected to result in “cost synergies” of roughly $20 million in the 2014 fiscal year, $35 million in 2015, and $52 million in 2016.

A SpartanNash spokesperson was not immediately available for comment Tuesday. When the companies announced their merger plans in July, it remained unclear where the combined company would officially be headquartered, and they did not provide details regarding how Nash Finch’s 7,500 employees would be affected.

A company official recently told the Star Tribune that the “majority” of the 500 employees at Nash Finch’s Edina office will remain, and the company will be based in Michigan for now, although its long-term headquarters is yet to be disclosed.