Steve and Rich Wallace of Wallace and Owens Stores, (W&O) have announced that they have signed an agreement with Harps Food Stores, to sell Harps 100 percent of the W&O stock.
Founded by the late Larry Wallace in 1949, and later joined by the late Kelly Owens, W&O has served communities in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee for over 59 years. W&O currently operates eight grocery stores under the banners of Wallace and Owens and Country Mart. In Arkansas, the stores are located in Corning and Jonesboro; and in Missouri, the stores are in Dexter, Doniphan, Alton, Thayer, Malden and Kennett. Harps Food Stores is the largest employee-owned company headquartered in Arkansas. After the acquisition, Harps will operate 61 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
Steve Wallace, president of W&O, said, "My brother and I have grown up in the family business and have enjoyed over 30 years together helping to shape and grow the the company. This is an end of an era for us but offers a wonderful opportunity for our staff to now become owners themselves."
Roger Collins, CEO of Harps, said, "We are extremely excited to add these stores to our company. As an employee-owned company, we believe Harps will offer value to the customers and attractive benefits for the employees of Wallace and Owens. Steve and Rich Wallace have developed an excellent company which has served their communities well. Harps will continue to offer the same great service. The family-oriented culture of Wallace and Owens will mesh seamlessly with the employee-owned culture at Harps."
The Food Partners (www.thefoodpartn-ers.com), a national investment banking firm providing merger, acquisition and divestiture services to the supermarket industry, advised Wallace and Owens in its sale to Harps Food Stores.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The sale is projected to be finalized by mid-December.