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Spartan Stores completes Nash Finch deal

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Spartan Stores Inc. has completed its purchase of Nash Finch Co., the food distribution companies said Tuesday.

The combined company will be named SpartanNash Co. but retail stores will continue to operate as Spartan Stores, Nash Finch and MDV in their respective markets. The common stock of SpartanNash will trade under the symbol "SPTN" on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange beginning Tuesday.

The companies announced the all-stock deal in July, which expands their combined customer base and geographic reach. Spartan Stores and Nash Finch shareholders approved the deal during separate shareholder meetings held Monday.

Nash Finch stockholders will receive 1.2 shares of Spartan for each share they own. Spartan shareholders will own about 57.7 percent of the combined company, with Nash Finch stockholders owning the remaining 42.3 percent. The companies put the value of the transaction at about $1.3 billion, including debt.

The deal is expected to add to its earnings per share in its 2014 fiscal year, excluding the one-time integration and transaction costs. The combined company said it also expects to pay shareholders a dividend, initially set at 48 cents per share on an annual basis.

SpartanNash is a food distributor that primarily serves military commissaries and exchanges, as well as independent and corporate-owned retail stores in the U.S. and abroad. It operates 177 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, No Frills, Bag 'n Save and Econofoods.

Shares fell 2 cents to $23.53 by midmorning amid a market uptick.