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NEW YORK -- The latest suitor showing interest in regional chain Pathmark Stores, Inc. is its primary supplier, C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., according to published reports here.
A spokeswoman for C&S Wholesale, based in Keene, N.H., declined to comment yesterday. Pathmark spokesman Rich Savner told Progressive Grocer: "In December, the company indicated it would consider strategic alternatives which we continue to evaluate." Savner would not elaborate, however, on whether that evaluation includes a proposed deal with C&S.
According to a report in the New York Post, however, sources said C&S Wholesale, which is New England's largest food wholesaler, has emerged as the top contender to purchase the Pathmark chain, which includes more than 140 supermarkets in highly populated markets in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Although the companies reportedly are working toward an agreement, sources warned that talks are at a delicate stage and could fall through. There is also a chance that another bidder could step in. If talks stay on track though, a deal could be announced in the next several weeks, according to the press account.
C&S Wholesale delivers groceries to roughly 4,000 major supermarket chains, independent grocers and wholesale clubs.
C&S Wholesale is in the process of taking over warehouse facilities and distribution and replenishment management from Bi-Lo Holdings, LLC, the new parent company of the Bi-Lo and Bruno's Supermarkets chains that had been owned by Ahold. That deal was announced in January.
-- Jennifer McTaggart