Although the impending merger between Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo doesn’t affect the Greater Philadelphia market, it’s newsworthy nonetheless. It is widely expected that we will see more such mergers and/or acquisitions in the coming months and years. And the next transaction – if the many rumors are true about Giant (Ahold) and Genuardi’s (Safeway) – may be much closer to home.

As for the current news, the merger of Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo, two strong regional brands with no overlap, will result in a network of nearly 700 stores in eight Southeastern states. The transaction is expected to close by April, subject to the approval of Winn-Dixie shareholders. Once the merger is completed, Winn-Dixie will become a privately-held, wholly-owned subsidiary of Bi-Lo. Winn-Dixie’s stock will no longer be traded on the NASDAQ.

Representatives of the two companies expect that both companies will continue to operate under separate banners, and no stores will close as a result of the merger.