SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A family-owned supermarket chain based in western Massachusetts is expanding further into the eastern part of the state.

Springfield-based Big Y Foods Inc. says it has entered into an agreement to acquire the operating assets of eight Hannaford stores being divested as a result of the proposed merger of international supermarket chains Ahold and Delhaize Group.

The agreement is subject to federal approval and formal completion of the Delhaize Group and Ahold merger. The transaction is expected to be completed by early September.

The Hannaford stores that will come under the Big Y banner are in Kingston; Quincy; Norwell; Milford; Norwood; Peabody; Saugus; and Easton.

Big Y says it intends to retain as many Hannaford employees as possible.

Big Y has 68 stores mostly in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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