18.12.02

18.12.2002: Meldung: United Natural Foods: Plan of Merger

Northeast Cooperatives Membership Approves Proposed Plan of Merger with United Natural Foods
Tuesday December 17, 8:22 am ET

DAYVILLE, Conn., Dec. 17 / -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI - News) today announced that the membership of Northeast Cooperatives voted at a special meeting held Sunday, December 15, 2002, in Brattleboro, Vermont to approve the proposed plan of merger with United Natural Foods. Approximately 96 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting were in favor of the merger. Northeast Cooperatives" Board of Directors and management had recommended the proposal to its members as in the best interests of the company"s members and customers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The proposed merger, which was previously announced on October 23, 2002, is tentatively expected to close on December 31, 2002, and remains subject to customary closing conditions.

"We are pleased that Northeast Cooperatives" members endorsed our enthusiasm for the proposed merger and recognize the benefits of a combined United Natural Foods and Northeast Cooperatives," said Steven Townsend, United Natural Foods President.

About Northeast Cooperatives

Northeast Cooperatives, headquartered in Brattleboro, VT, is a natural foods distributor that carries and distributes over 14,000 products to approximately 2,800 customers primarily in the Northeast. Northeast Cooperatives serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators, cooperatives, institutions and buying clubs. Northeast Cooperatives had approximately $120 million in sales for the latest twelve months.

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc. carries and distributes over 30,000 products to more than 10,000 customers nationwide. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores and independent retail operators.

For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company"s web-site at www.unfi.com .


Source: United Natural Foods, Inc.
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