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Tractor Supply to acquire chain of 17 farm stores

July 24, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

Tractor Supply Co. President and CEO Jim Wright, during a presentation to investors and analysts at the company's Hagerstown distribution center, announced plans Friday to acquire a chain of 17 smaller farm stores based in Lakewood, Wash., according to a company Webcast of the presentation.

"They are very entrepreneurial, passionate and, frankly, make Tractor Supply, which I thought was a very aggressive company, look a little aged and slow-moving," Wright said in the Webcast of Del's Farm Supply Inc.'s management team. "They are looking at this merger as providing them with the capital to realize their dreams."

Before the presentation, Tractor Supply announced on its Web site the company signed a letter of intent to acquire Del's, which operates 17 stores including 13 in Washington, one in British Columbia and one in Hawaii. Del's generated about $34 million in sales last year, Tractor Supply said. Wright said he believes the Del's stores will complement his own Tractor Supply stores because of differences in their inventories. He said he expects to complete the sale by the end of the third quarter.

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Earlier in the week, Tractor Supply, based in Brentwood, Tenn., released strong second-quarter earnings in which the company's net sales increased 16.6 percent, to $613.2 million, from the second quarter of 2004.

The company operates 547 stores in 34 states, as well as five distribution centers, including its Hagerstown site.

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