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    Marsh To Buy O'Malia Food Markets

    Acquisition follows trend of big retailers swallowing up smaller chains.

    Marsh Supermarkets LLC said it reached a deal in principle to acquire Carmel, Ind.-based O'Malia Food Markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    The O'Malia company, which operates eight food markets in Indiana, would retain its identity and become an operating division of Marsh Supermarkets, according to a statement released by Marsh. The companies said the deal has several contingencies, which they declined to identify, that are expected to be worked out over the next three weeks.

    Marsh Supermarkets currently operates 70 Marsh supermarkets, 29 LoBill food stores and 188 Village Pantry convenience stores in Indiana and Ohio.

    Marsh President and CEO Don Marsh said that O'Malia's 700 employees would be encouraged to stay on board. "We are delighted to bring the O'Malia stores into our family of companies," he said. "Theirs is a family-owned business we have respected for years, and they serve their market niche in this area with quality, energy and creativity."

    Danny O'Malia, president of O'Malia's, would remain in that role after the deal. He said the move was necessary to help the retail stay competitive in a market that clearly favors bigger chains. "Now adequate resources will be available to us not only to survive but prosper as part of a large and very successful enterprise," O'Malia said. "This bodes well for all our employees and customers."

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