Price Club Tells of Possible Layoffs at Alfred M. Lewis

Layoffs might occur at the Northridge distribution center of Alfred M. Lewis Inc., a grocery wholesaler that has agreed to be acquired for $48 million by Price Co., the San Diego-based operator of Price Club warehouses that sell appliances, food and other products.

Price recently proposed a $37-a-share tender offer to purchase the 1.3 million shares of Lewis, which is headquartered in Riverside. In its tender offer documents, Price said it might transfer some of Lewis' Northridge business to Riverside, and that some Lewis employees at Northridge and elsewhere might be "relocated, terminated or transferred" because of Lewis' recent operating losses.

Lewis President Daniel Howard said the Northridge plant employs 160 people, but he referred all other questions about the facility to Price. Giles Bateman, Price's chief financial officer, confirmed that layoffs are possible but also declined to elaborate.

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