NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of commercial lending and leasing services, today announced that it provided financing to Wakefern Food Corp., the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States. Wakefern is the principal supplier of food and non-food products to member-owned supermarkets that trade under the ShopRite and PriceRite banners. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Wakefern also directly operates 83 supermarkets under the ShopRite and PriceRite banners. Proceeds of the facility will be used to finance new equipment and grocery store upgrades. Financing was provided by CIT Bank, the U.S. commercial bank subsidiary of CIT. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We’re pleased we could leverage our middle-market and supermarket industry expertise to provide this financing to Wakefern,” said Burt Feinberg, President of CIT Corporate Finance, Commercial & Industrial. “The company delivers consistent revenue growth. We look to further build on our already long standing relationship as they continue to invest in their ShopRite and PriceRite locations while enhancing the services they offer to their members.”
Kevin Ronan, Director, CIT Capital Equipment Finance, said, “Wakefern is a strong company that, even during the downturn, was able to show revenue increases. Its members have the cooperative benefit of the company’s $11 billion in purchasing power and retail support services providing members with the unique ability to compete with the larger chains. We’re pleased we could support the largest supermarket cooperative in the U.S. through this financing.”
Doug Wille, Chief Financial Officer of Wakefern, said, “CIT worked closely with us to develop a customized financial solution that will help us pursue our growth objectives. Having recently welcomed the forty-ninth member to our cooperative, we’re excited to deploy this financing to continue to help the independent retailers who make up our membership-base prosper in a competitive sector and deliver an outstanding shopping experience to customers at our ShopRite and PriceRite stores.”
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About Wakefern Food Corp.
From a small, struggling cooperative with eight members – all owners of their own grocery stores – Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative comprises 50 members who today individually own and operate more than 250 supermarkets under the ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. In 1996, Wakefern introduced PriceRite stores, extending the company’s reach into Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia. In 2014, Wakefern granted rights to cooperative members to open stores under the PriceRite banner. Today, there are more than 50 PriceRite stores in eight states. As the merchandising and distribution arm of ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer, Wakefern, together with its member companies, employs more than 70,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in New Jersey. Wakefern also distributes products to other supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda. Wakefern was named one of the Best Places to Work in NJ by NJBIZ Magazine in 2011 and again in 2012. In 2011, Supermarket News gave Wakefern its Retail Excellence Award, and The Griffin Report named Wakefern Retailer of the Year. Supermarket News also recently awarded Wakefern the 2013 Technology Excellence Award. wakefern.com.
About CIT Bank
Founded in 2000, CIT Bank (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender) is the U.S. commercial bank subsidiary of CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT). It provides lending and leasing to the small business, middle market and transportation sectors. CIT Bank (BankOnCIT.com) offers a variety of savings options designed to help customers achieve their financial goals. As of June 30, 2014, it had approximately $14 billion of deposits and more than $18 billion of assets. cit.com/CITBank
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE:CIT) is a financial holding company with approximately $35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lending, factoring, retail and equipment finance, as well as aerospace, equipment and rail leasing. CIT’s U.S. bank subsidiary CIT Bank (Member FDIC), BankOnCIT.com, offers a variety of savings options designed to help customers achieve their financial goals. cit.com