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The Globe and Mail

Loblaws closes purchase of T&T

NATHAN DENETTE/Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. , Canada's largest grocery store chain, has closed the $225-million acquisition of Richmond, B.C.-based T&T Supermarket Inc., Canada's largest retailer of Asian foods.

The deal was announced July 24 and is part of the Toronto company's expansion in ethnic food markets to counter the impact of the recession on its traditional business.

T&T operates 17 stores in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and has four distribution centres, three in Vancouver and one in Toronto.

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The two cities have large Chinese-speaking populations.

The ethnic food retailer has annual sales of about $500-million.

Under the deal, Loblaws is paying $191-million in cash for T&T and the rest in preferred shares to be issued by a new subsidiary, Loblaws Inc.

The grocer, a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd. , is Canada's largest food distributor, with more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores across the country and a work force of 139,000 full-time and part-time employees.

Loblaw banners include: Loblaws, Zehrs, Fortinos, Real Canadian Superstore, valu-mart, Atlantic Superstore, no frills, Provigo and more.

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