A&P Hires Credit Suisse to Review Options Such As Sale

Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co., the supermarket known as A&P that emerged from bankruptcy, has hired Credit Suisse Group AG to help it review strategic alternatives that may include selling itself.

A&P also may raise new capital from investors, consider new business partners or refinance the company, according to an internal memo reviewed by Bloomberg News.

The company, which owns grocery chains on the East Coast including Pathmark and The Food Emporium, emerged from bankruptcy reorganization last year. A&P, with more than 300 locations, has attempted to boost sales with a wellness program and more natural foods as it faces increasing competition from such big-box retailers as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp.

“Having strengthened the core of our business, we are now focused on the capital required for future growth,” Chairman Greg Mays said in an e-mailed statement. “Our goal is to build on our positive momentum and grow A&P in a way that benefits our customers, associates, suppliers and partners.”

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that A&P is seeking to sell itself for as much as $1 billion, citing a person familiar with the matter. Potential acquirers include Kroger Co., Koninklijke Ahold NV and Cerberus Capital Management LP, the newspaper said.