Shareholders Approve Buyout of Marsh Supermarkets

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Shareholders Approve Buyout of Marsh Supermarkets

FISHER, Ind. -- Marsh Supermarkets is no longer a family-owned company, as shareholders approved an $88 million acquisition by the private investment group Sun Capital Partners on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

At a 30 minute meeting, CEO Don Marsh reminisced about the company's history and offered insight on the future of Marsh's stores.

According to Marsh, Sun Capital will make many changes to the 75-year old company, but it will not change the name or the level of quality and community involvement that it has displayed over the years.

Marsh also announced his resignation from the position of chief executive. He has held the position since 1959 but did not say who his successor would be, the Indianapolis Star reported.

After the meeting, Marsh spoke with company employees and told one that the acquisition had to be done, because "Wal-Mart's just coming at us too fast."

Investors were disappointed by the sale, but saw the necessity for the survival of the business, the AP reported.

"We're very pleased that these people are coming in," Marilyn Marsh, Marsh's wife, told the AP. "They are very pro-Marsh and ... have a philosophy very similar to Marsh."

Marsh shareholders will receive $11.125 in cash per share. That price is less than the average $12 per share for Marsh's common stock before the company was put up for sale.

"That would suggest that most shareholders are losing money on this," Braden Leonard, managing member of BML Investment, told the Indianapolis Star. He acquired more than 210,000 shares at an average price of $9, meaning he stands to make more than $400,000.

The sale will close by the end of the month and Sun Capital will assume an undisclosed amount of debt with the transaction.

At the meeting, 72.4 percent of the outstanding Class A common stock and 84.0 percent of the outstanding Class B common stock were voted to approve the merger, according to Marsh Supermarkets.

Marsh operates 68 Marsh supermarkets, 38 LoBill Foods, eight O'Malia Food Markets, 154 Village Pantry convenience stores and two Arthur's Fresh Market stores in Indiana and western Ohio. The company also operates Crystal Food Services, Primo Banquet Catering and Conference Centers, Floral Fashions, and McNamara Florist.