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The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) may now be nearly history, but it's still trying to unload its unsold stores: The grocer got U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval last week to enlist a third party to help market and sell 55 of its remaining locations over the next couple of months, according to a published report.
The third party, a joint venture comprising A&G Realty Partners, Tiger Capital Group, SB Capital Group and some of A&P's secured creditors, agreed to pay the grocer $5 million in the form of credit, reported The Journal News, a newspaper covering New York state’s Lower Hudson Valley. For stores that the joint venture manages to sell off, A&P will get the cash payment from those sales, and for locations that the joint venture opts to take over itself, A&P will get an additional $250,000. Meanwhile, the joint venture will also pay rent on all 55 properties.
Concerning other stores that have been sold but whose buyers, for whatever reason, haven’t yet completed the sales, A&P's attorneys said they would request the court to order these buyers to act. The company further revealed that it had reached a deal with its unions to end by the end of January some health benefits and life insurance payments to retirees.
These moves are among A&P’s last as it exits the Northeast retail scene after 156 years. All stores under its banners have closed and the grocer is preparing to give up the lease on its Montvale, N.J., corporate campus.
As of last week, the company had sold 119 of nearly 300 stores, with 79 awaiting sales approval, according to The Journal News.