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CHARLOTTE, Mich. -- A federal bankruptcy court this week began dividing the supermarket locations of bankrupt Carter's Food Centers here among various bidders, including G&R Felpausch Co., Spartan Stores and Fruchey Foods Inc.
In July, Carter's filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation last month, citing "serious financial difficulties" to the tune of $33 million in debt.
Thomas Fruchey -- whose family sold grocery stores in Edenville, Gladwin, and Beaverton to Carter's in 2001 -- was seeking to reacquire the locations. However, he was quoted in local reports as saying that the court decided to keep bids open for another week on those sites.
Meanwhile, Hastings, Mich.-based G&R Felpausch Co. secured the bid on the Carter's in Charlotte, as well as another Carter's in Kimball Township, near Port Huron, according to local reports; while Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan Stores also won the bid for five northern Michigan stores under its Family Fare franchise.
It remains unclear how many of Carter's creditors will obtain restitution under its Chapter 7 bankruptcy status, which provides for the sale of assets and the distribution of proceeds among creditors. Among Carter's creditors is grocery supplier Nash Finch Co., which is owed $24 million; produce wholesaler J.A. Besteman Co., which is owed nearly $1 million; and Independence, Ky.-based produce supplier Crossett Co., which is owed about $41,000, according to court records.
Bidders were seeking to buy real estate, leasehold interests, liquor licenses, and inventory. Carter's leased all store locations except those in Charlotte and Lake City, where it owned the real estate.