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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 20, 202007:53 AM EST

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers files for IPO

The parent company of 420 Winn-Dixie stores and two other brands said sales are up 19.8%.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Southeastern Grocers Inc. is going public with 420 supermarkets under the Winn-Dixie, Harveys and Fresco y Mas banners that produced $6.7 billion in sales last year.

But with a surge in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, comparable-store sales jumped 18.4% in the first half of this year and the Jacksonville-based company became profitable, according to its registration statement for an initial public offering.

Southeastern Grocers announced last month it filed a confidential registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a possible IPO, but gave few details.

The company filed its public statement with the SEC on Oct. 19 that does not say how much stock will be sold in the IPO, but gives details on operations of the supermarket chain.

However, the registration statement still doesn’t reveal who owns the company. The section titled “Principal and Selling Stockholders” is blank.

Southeastern Grocers went through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2018 that resulted in a group of creditors receiving the company’s stock in exchange for debt. However, court documents never specified who received the stock and became owners of the company.

Southeastern Grocers was formed by the 2012 merger of Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and Bi-Lo Holdings. The company announced in June it is selling stores and exiting the Bi-Lo brand.

The company has announced two agreements to sell 85 stores which will leave it with 420 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. It will no longer have any stores in North and South Carolina.

“These dispositions also enhance our relative exposure to the attractive Florida market, which will account for approximately 76% of our total stores,” Southeastern Grocers said in the IPO filing.

The 420 stores make Southeastern Grocers the sixth-largest conventional supermarket operator in the U.S., it said.

The company will have about 36,000 employees after it completes the store dispositions.

Sales at grocery stores have surged across the U.S. in the first half of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted consumers to eat more meals at home.

Southeastern Grocers’ total sales at the 420 stores jumped 19.8% in the first half of this year to $4.3 billion and comparable-store sales (sales at stores open for more than one year) rose 18.4%, the IPO filing said.

The sales surge made the company profitable in the first half of 2020. Southeastern Grocers recorded a net loss of $116.2 million in 2019 on sales of $8.3 billion, including sales at the stores that will be sold.

In the first half of this year, Southeastern Grocers recorded net income of $205.7 million.

The company’s IPO will be underwritten by a group of investment firms led by BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs & Co.

Southeastern Grocers intends to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SEGR.”

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