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Coborns will buy most Hornbacher’s stores as Supervalu’s new owner begins making grocery deals

November 30, 2018

The new owner of Supervalu is selling all but one Hornbachers stores to Coborns in a deal that saves the Fargo-Moorhead area grocery chain and a revenue stream for itself.

Seven Hornbachers locations in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., will remain open and keep their name under St. Cloud-based Coborns ownership. An eighth store thats under construction in West Fargo is also part of the deal.

The Hornbachers store in Grand Forks, N.D., was not included in the sale and will close following liquidation, which begins Monday, Supervalu said Friday.

Hornbachers is a respected grocery retailer, theyre doing everything right, Chris Coborn, chief executive of Coborns, said in a statement. We intend to let them continue operating as-is so there is no change to their guest experience.

Matt Leiseth, who has led Hornbachers for eight years and is currently its president, will continue to be in charge of those store, Coborn said.

United Natural Foods Inc., which bought Eden Prairie-based Supervalu in October for $3 billion, is focusing on its wholesale business and selling the retailers, including Stillwater-based Cub Foods, that provided about 30 percent of Supervalus revenue.

UNFI hopes to sell most of Supervalus retailers to grocery chains that will continue to use Supervalu as their wholesale supplier. The sale of Hornbachers to Coborns, already a customer of Supervalu, does that.

Finding a strategic buyer for Hornbachers with continued supply opportunity was a top priority, Sean Griffin, Supervalus chief executive, said in a statement. Coborns is a long-standing Supervalu wholesale customer and were excited that they will carry on the Hornbachers name and tradition of quality products and service.

Terms of the deal werent immediately disclosed. The transaction is expected to close before Christmas.

Ted Hornbacher opened his first store in Moorhead under the name Teds Supervalu in 1951. The name later got changed to Hornbachers and expanded to eight locations. Supervalu bought the grocery store chain in 1975.

UNFI still hopes to sell the 78-store Cub chain in one unit, executives said recently.

Kristen Leigh Painter 612-673-4767

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