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The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) has received the go-ahead to sell 95 of its stores for $370 million, according to a published report. At a hearing in White Plains, N.Y., U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain okayed the sale of 71 A&P stores to Malvern, Pa.-based Acme Markets for $246 million and 24 stores to Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. for $124 million.
Additionally, A&P is now seeking further bids for 17 stores that Key Food Stores Co-operative had agreed to purchase, Newsday reported, citing court documents. Despite this development, Key Food hasn't dropped its bid to buy the stores, a representative of the co-op told the publication. A&P hasn't commented on the move.
Although other potential buyers offered bids on 39 of the stores Acme put in to buy and 16 of the stores Stop & Shop wanted, the grocers had the "highest and best offers," noted Stephen Goldstein, senior managing director of New York-based financial advisory and investment banking firm Evercore Group LLC, in court documents filed Sept. 18.
The current deadline for bid submissions on 177 stores is now 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21. Stores without successful bids are to be auctioned on Oct. 1-2, with successful bidders to be revealed on Oct. 3.
A&P filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July.