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Sobeys parent Empire buys controlling stake in Longos, Grocery Gateway [Video]

A shopper selects produce at a Longo's grocery store in Toronto.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Sobeys owner Empire Company Ltd. is expanding its presence in Ontario, with a $357-million deal to buy 51 per cent of grocery store chain Longo’s and its e-commerce service, Grocery Gateway.

The deal announced on Tuesday adds 36 Longo’s stores in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario to Empire’s retail portfolio. The Stellarton, N.S.-based grocer already owns banners including Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland and others. It is also the second acquisition of a smaller Ontario grocer since Empire CEO Michael Medline was appointed – in 2018, the company bought a majority stake in Farm Boy. Like that chain, Longo’s will continue to operate as a separate business, led by its current management.

The deal also gives Empire a second major player in the e-commerce grocery business in Southern Ontario. Longo’s bought Grocery Gateway in 2004, long before other major grocers had begun meaningfully …

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