A&P Wins Approval of Store Sales for Total of $370 Million

  • Acme, Stop & Shop to acquire 95 of grocery chain's locations
  • Lawyer says buyers expected to reach agreements with union

The operator of the A&P supermarket chain won bankruptcy court approval to sell 95 of its stores for $370 million.

Acme Markets Inc. is buying 71 stores from Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. for $246 million, while Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. is taking on 24 locations for $124 million.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain approved the sales Monday at a hearing in White Plains, New York. The deals will keep more than 10,750 people employed. Acme and Stop & Shop expect to reach labor agreements with the union representing workers at those stores, Ray Schrock, a lawyer for A&P, said at the hearing.

“The two proposed sales are in the best interest of creditors and employees,” Drain said. “The prices are clearly the highest for this aggregation of assets.”

An auction will be held on Oct. 1 and 2 for other company assets. About 128 bids have been received and an additional auction may be necessary, Schrock said.

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea filed for creditor protection in July about three years after emerging from a prior bankruptcy. It operates Waldbaums, Food Emporium, Super Fresh, Pathmark and Food Basics, as well as its namesake A&P stores. It had more than 300 locations at the time of filing, according to its website.

The company struggled to compete with newcomers including Whole Foods Market Inc. and Trader Joe’s Co. Its stores came to seem dated, and the company’s bottom line sagged under labor expenses including high pension costs.

The case is In re Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., 15-23007, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (White Plains).