BI-LO, LLC and Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. have announced that BI-LO will purchase Winn-Dixie in a merger valued at about $560 million. The merger will create a supermarket chain of 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states in the  southeastern United States.  The transaction is currently expected to close in the next 60 to 120 days, subject to the approval of Winn-Dixie shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, BI-LO will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Winn-Dixie stock at $9.50 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 75 percent over the closing price of Winn Dixie common stock on December 16.

Following the merger, Winn-Dixie will become a privately-held, wholly owned subsidiary of BI-LO.   It is anticipated that the companies will continue to operate under the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie banners.  BI-LO, which operates 207 supermarkets, was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.    Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Winn-Dixie operates 480 retail grocery locations.