MIAMI ( – The Bi-Lo Grocery chain has agreed to purchase Winn-Dixie for more than a half billion dollars and create one of the largest grocery operators in the South.

Once the deal is completed, Bi-Lo will have roughly 690 stores and 63,000 workers in eight states across the South. BI-Lo currently runs 207 stores in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee.

By purchasing Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo will now have stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.

As part of the deal, both companies announced Monday that no store closings are expected and the name Winn-Dixie will remain on the stores due to brand recognition.

Winn-Dixie’s board unanimously approved the deal, which should be finished in the next two to three months.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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