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Some Christmas Eve reactions to yesterday’s story about Ahold selling its Bi-Lo and Bruno’s chains to Lone Star Funds, a private investment group, for about $550 million…

One MNB user wrote:

WOW...just what Bi-Lo and Bruno's need...to be run by another holding company that manages profits instead of customers...

I wish the people at these chains all the best. I know a lot of them and they are a strong talented group who have really been suffering through two years of transitions. Hopefully, Lone Star will learn from Ahold's mistakes...


We asked whether Lone Star was ready to be a retailing leader, or would just sell off pieces of the company while cutting costs and personnel whenever and wherever possible.

One MNB user responded:

KC, you asked about Lone Star "but does it know how to help a food retailer be both a market leader and a thought leader? " Probably not and either do most other publicly held supermarket companies.

Time will tell whether they try to take advantage of the collapse of Winn-Dixie or if they will chop it up, filet it, and sell it off in small pieces like a prize bull at the county fair. Bruno's and Bi -Lo have some talented people. They could only do so much before because Ahold had them handcuffed to where everything had to trickle up and down the huge Ahold bureaucracy.

Decisions that could have been made in hours or days took years. With the leg irons off, maybe we can see what the real Bruno's /Bi -Lo is all about.


Maybe.

However, go check out the Lone Star site:

http://www.lonestarfunds.com/index.html

Doesn’t look to us like a company steeped in retailing tradition and marketing/merchandising innovation. But we could be wrong.
KC's View: