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Big V Supermarkets Inc. said on Thursday that it is
reviewing its legal and strategic alternatives in light of the oral decision issued by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware denying Big V's request for a declaratory judgment that the company could withdraw from the Wakefern cooperative without incurring a financial penalty. Big V intends to review the Court's final written opinion closely, but will of course abide by the preliminary finding.
Thursday's Court ruling does not prevent Big V from departing the Wakefern cooperative but left open the amount Big V would need to pay Wakefern following any departure. Big V continues to believe that the best way to
maximize value for its creditors and protect the interests of its other stakeholders is to proceed with its efforts to emerge from Chapter 11 operating as an independent company under a new and superior supply
Big V said that the period during which it has the exclusive right to file a plan of reorganization and solicit acceptances of such a plan has been extended through Aug. 23, 2001 and could be extended again at that time. During this period, Big V intends to engage in discussions with the various
parties at interest in developing a plan of reorganization. The company will also continue discussions with various parties about obtaining a new distribution agreement.
Big V also announced on Thursday that it plans to close its 80,000 square-foot ShopRite store located at 675 Kidder Street in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Big V opened the store in Wilkes-Barre in February 2001 as part of a strategy to enter the Wyomissing Valley market with four stores. However, due to financial constraints resulting in part from
its chapter 11 filing in November 2000, the company was unable to move forward with plans to open additional stores in the region. Moreover, due to a legal dispute with Wakefern, Big V received limited financial support for the new store. Big V said it currently has no plans to close any other stores and noted that its newest store, an 80,000 sq. ft. replacement store in Vails Gate, New York, has been exceeding the company's expectations.