Brookshire Grocery Co. is no longer for sale.
Monday afternoon, Brad Brookshire, chairman of the company's board of directors, sent out an email wishing the company's nearly 14,000 employees a happy Thanksgiving and telling them the potential sale of the company was called off.
"The company is no longer for sale, and we can now focus on the things that matter most - our customers and partners," the memo reads. "I personally want to thank each and every one of you for sticking with us during the past months of difficult uncertainty."
The company confirmed the sale process was terminated in a brief statement.
"The company will continue to provide great food and shopping experience for its customers and will have no further comment on this matter," the statement reads.
In mid-October, the family owned grocery chain was considering a sale worth an estimated $1 billion. That included more than 150 stores in three states, including Brookshire's, Super 1 Foods and the Fresh by Brookshire's flagship store in Tyler.
"I firmly believe Brookshire Grocery Co. is a business with solid foundation and enormous potential," Brookshire said in the memo. "Most of all, as we come together to serve our customers this holiday week, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving."
One industry analyst speculated the company was the subject of a bidding war, possibly between supermarket giants Albertson's and H-E-B.
"Sounds like they didn't like any of the offers," David Livingston, a supermarket industry analyst and owner of DJL Research, said. "Maybe (they'll) try again later."
There's intense pressure in the industry to consolidate, as chains attempt to deal with Wal-Mart's ever-expanding reach and its unprecedented economies of scale.
Brookshire's is one of the holdouts, and as such, it's a pretty attractive property. It's employees aren't unionized, which made it even more attractive.
"There have been rumors (about a possible sale) for about a year," Livingston said in October. "We've been expecting something like this."
Brookshire Grocery Co. was the 2012 recipient of the T.B. Butler Award as Tyler's most outstanding citizen.
Wood T. Brookshire opened a small store on Sept. 1, 1928, in downtown Tyler. By 1939, there were three stores in Tyler and in the 1940s he added stores in neighborhood communities.
In 1961, Brookshire's had two stores open in Shreveport, Louisiana. A 175,000-square-foot distribution center opened in Tyler to better accommodate a growing number of stores. The most popular addition of the 1970s was a wildlife museum at the corporate offices, with animals the Brookshires brought from safaris in Africa.
The first Arkansas store opened in 1978. Brookshire's and its employees survived the recession of the 1980s and even managed to add some stores and double the size of its distribution center.
Healthy growth continued in the 1990s with the purchase of a dairy plant in Tyler, a distribution facility in Monroe, Louisiana, another office and warehousing complex north of Tyler and further expansion of the company's headquarters. A plant began manufacturing Goldenbrook Farms ice cream in 1997.
The supermarkets include Brookshire's, Super 1 Foods and Ole Foods. The business also has Express Lane and Zippy B convenience stores. There are pharmacies, fuel centers and more than 13,000 employees, or partners, and several distribution and manufacturing facilities.
TEXT OF THE MEMO
My fellow partners,
I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of the Company has decided this morning to discontinue the sale process of our company. The Company is no longer for sale and we can now focus on the things that matter most - our customers and partners. I personally want to thank each and every one of you for sticking with us during the past months of difficult uncertainty.
Entering this week of Thanksgiving, I am more than ever thankful for our company, our 14,000 employee partners and our loyal customers. I firmly believe Brookshire Grocery Company is a business with solid foundation and enormous potential.
Most of all, as we come together to serve our customers this holiday week, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.
All the best,
Chairman of the Board
"Brookshire Holdings, Inc., parent company of Brookshire Grocery Company, today announced that the process in which it has been engaged to explore a possible sale of the company has been terminated.
The company will continue to provide great food and shopping experience for its customers and will have no further comment on this matter.