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Nash Finch headquarters moving from Edina to Michigan

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Minnesota is losing one of its Fortune 500 companies after Michigan-based Spartan Stores announced it was moving the headquarters of the former Nash Finch Co. to Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Edina-based grocery wholesaler was acquired by Spartan, a wholesaler and food seller, for $1.3 billion in July. The merged companies are now going by the name SpartanNash.

In a press release Wednesday, SpartanNash said the company will "retain a strong regional presence in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to support food distribution."

With the merger, SpartanNash has 22 distribution centers that cover 37 states and 177 retail stores.

The Wall Street Journal has complete details of the merger, which was completed Tuesday.

The company said it picked the state for its headquarters "due to it being centrally located to the merged entities operations, the positive business climate taking hold in Michigan, including a more favorable tax environment, and the quality of life Michigan provides for its associates."

SpartanNash says a $2.75 million grant the company received from the Michigan Strategic Fund to "support the retention of 620 existing jobs and the creation of 72 new jobs" also played a factor.

MLive says the grant is one of the largest packages give under Michigan's new incentive structure. An expert tells the publication, however, that it's a small price to pay to keep a national company headquartered in the state.

SpartanNash was unable to reveal how the merger would affect the jobs in Edina.

Last month, four top Nash Finch executives in Minnesota lost their jobs as a result of the merger.

Even though SpartanNash held off announcing that the company headquarters would be located in Michigan, a former Minneapolis Federal Reserve official believes the company knew the endgame all along.

"My guess is that it's already been worked out, but they're going to play the game anyway," Art Rolnick told the Pioneer Press in an interview this fall. "You don't want to show all your cards. That's the way to get the biggest subsidy."

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