Bowling Green-based Houchens Industries has signed a letter of intent to purchase Buehler Foods Inc., an Indiana company that operates 22 grocery stores in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
Financial terms of the agreement have not been released.
Buehler officials said that with “continuing pressures in the retail marketplace, our ongoing need for growth and expansion, and the future of our 1,500-plus associates, a merger with Houchens Industries provides a unique opportunity for our company.”
Though a variety of businesses now operate under the Houchens umbrella, the company initially started out as a grocery business and still operates some 370 food stores under the Houchens, Save-A-Lot, Food Giant, IGA, Piggly Wiggly and Mad Butcher banners. The company also owns approximately 40 Jr. Foods convenience markets and 23 Tobacco Shoppe discount cigarette outlets. Other Houchens businesses include construction, Web development, financial services, recycling, property management, manufacturing, optical stores and insurance. The company employs more than 12,000 people and is 100 percent employee-owned.
Buehler is a family-owned company that was started in Jasper, Ind., in 1940 and now has more than 1,500 employees. The company operates 16 stores in Indiana, five in Illinois and one in Kentucky (Henderson). The stores will continue to operate under the Buehler Buy-Low name following the sale to Houchens.