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Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc. sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time on Friday, listing debt between $100 million and $500 million in its petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.
The news does not come as a surprise, as PG reported on Oct. 16 that a bankruptcy filing could be imminent.
The El Segundo-based operator of approximately 100 Fresh & Easy grocery store/convenience store hybrid locations was owned by Tesco plc at the time of the first Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2013. At that time, billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. bought most of the Fresh & Easy assets.
As for why Fresh & Easy needed a second bankruptcy protection filing, experts have cited strong competition from Target, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods Markets and Trader Joe’s.
Fresh & Easy is the second major grocery and convenience store company seeking such protection this year, following a filing by Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., operator of A&P stores, in July.