A Tale of Two Grocery Chains
Let's paint a picture of how we get down in America and how Hugo Chavez does it in Venezuela, shall we? Starting with our Socialist homie Hugo.
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez ordered the expropriation of Hipermercado Exito stores after alleging that the retailer broke the law by raising prices and hoarding goods.
The South American country will change its laws if needed to take over the retailer owned by Casino Guichard Perrachon SA of Saint-Etienne, France and Almacenes Exito SA of Medellin, Colombia, Chavez said today on state television.
“I order that we develop a dossier and prepare a new law to take over the Exito chain,” Chavez said. “Repricing and hoarding, what is this? You have to respect our house.”
Chavez’s government closed four Exito outlets for a day because the company allegedly increased prices following a Jan. 11 currency devaluation.
Fabulous. Here in America, banks are allowed by the Fed to buy a bank owned mostly by a grocery store family. Gee, why would banks want to get a piece of that action I wonder? What could they possibly know that we don't?
Va.-based community bank Union Bankshares Corp. cleared its last hurdle yesterday in combining with First Market Bank.
The Bowling Green-based bank holding company received federal regulatory approval to merge with the privately owned bank that is owned mostly by the Ukrop family and Ukrop's Super Markets Inc.
The combined company will create the largest Virginia-based community bank with $4 billion in assets and 900 employees.
The holding company will acquire Richmond-based First Market Bank as early as Feb. 1 and complete the merger at that time, G. William Beale, Union's president and chief executive officer, said yesterday.
The merger, announced in March, is an all-stock deal originally valued at $105 million based on the $13.43 stock price when the deal was announced. Shares of Union Bankshares closed yesterday at $12.75, up 2 cents.
Beale said about 72 redundant jobs will be lost as a result of the merger. "We haven't cut as deeply as many organizations," he said.
I guess it could be worse, right?