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Tops Markets, LLC may figure as a “major player” in the purchase of the Penn Traffic Co.’s stores, according to published reports. Syracuse, N.Y.-based Penn Traffic said last month it would sell off its assets in the wake of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the third time in a decade.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy court earlier this month by Tops show that the company filed motions to make appearances in Penn Traffic’s bankruptcy case. As Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops has no vested interest in Penn Traffic or its properties, such a filing may indicate that Tops is interested in placing bids on Penn Traffic’s assets, the newspaper noted, adding that Tops hasn’t yet made an official court-mandated bid on any Penn Traffic property.
Any companies that wish to bid on Penn Traffic’s assets have a deadline of Dec. 22 to do so. So far, bids have been entered by Schenectady, N.Y.-based grocer Price Chopper, which back in October — before Penn Traffic’s latest bankruptcy filing — offered to buy four northern New York P&C stores for $12.3 million, and a group largely consisting of liquidation firms representing an anonymous buyer.
Back in August, Tops CEO Frank Curci told the Post-Standard that Penn Traffic attempted to buy or merge with Tops last year as the latter was transitioning from being a division of Ahold USA and looking for investors. The aborted deal cost Penn Traffic over $1 million, the publication reported.
When contacted by Progressive Grocer for confirmation of the reports, Tops responded only that it was “following the Penn Traffic transaction closely, but cannot speculate on any outcome.”