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Documents filed last week in Bruno's Supermarkets LLC’s bankruptcy case revealed that there is a bidder for 36 of the grocer's 56 stores, according to published reports. A lawyer for Bruno’s said the offer from the unidentified bidder is unacceptable in its current form, however, since "it is only marginally above liquidation value and filled with contingencies that are untenable."
Additionally, the offer also leaves one-third of the company's stores without a purchaser, the lawyer, K. Bryance Metheny wrote in a letter to U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Benjamin Cohen, the Birmingham, Ala., News reported. Earlier, a lawyer representing the United Food and Commercial Workers wrote the judge that the union had come to a tentative understanding with the prospective buyer to include Bruno's employees under another contract the bidder has with the union, and that the bidder planned to hire many Bruno's store employees.
Bruno's and the UFCW have been at odds over the existing collective bargaining agreement between the company and the union, particularly the successorship clause, which would oblige a new owner of the company to adhere to the current contract. Bruno's has pushed to have the contract invalidated, saying it blocks a sale of the company. If no purchaser is found, Bruno's has said it will proceed with liquidation.