FTC Consents to Supermarket Acquisition by New Orleans-Based Chain
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Trade Commission gave final approval Monday to an agreement allowing Schwegmann Giant Super Markets, Inc., of New Orleans to buy 21 supermarkets in the South.
But under the agreement, Schwegmann cannot keep seven New Orleans supermarkets purchased from National Holdings, Inc. in a 28-supermarket deal. The FTC gave Schwegmann a year to sell those seven markets, and said the chain must get FTC permission for future acquisitions in the region to avoid violating antitrust laws.
The family-owned Schwegmann company controls some 35 percent of the supermarket business in New Orleans with 18 stores. The FTC had alleged that competition would be stifled by combining direct competitors in the city.
The acquisition is part of a larger deal between Schnucks Markets, Inc., and National, the two largest supermarket chains in St. Louis. The FTC is still contemplating a consent agreement for that transaction.
In the overall deal, Schnucks would acquire all 60 of the Toronto-based Loblaw Companies Ltd.’s National supermarkets in the United States, then transfer 28 of them in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to Schwegmann.
Schnucks and Schwegmann each operate stores under their own names. The National supermarkets in New Orleans operate under the names Canal Villere, That Stanley! and The Real Superstore.
The combined gross revenues from National’s St. Louis and New Orleans operations was just over $1 billion in 1994, store officials have said.