Produce shopping at the Upper East Side Fairway store, one of the locations the bankrupt grocer is looking to sell
Fairway Market, along with its debtor affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, has revealed a “qualified overbid” of $75 million by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Bogopa Enterprises Inc. for six Fairway stores – including its five Manhattan stores – and a distribution center.
An operator of grocery stores in the New York metropolitan area for 32 years, family-owned Bogopa currently has 26 Food Bazaar supermarkets in New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut and New York state’s Westchester County.
Scott Moses, managing director and head of food retail and restaurants investment banking at PJ Solomon, which is acting as M&A investment banking advisor to Fairway, told Progressive Grocer that Bogopa “has been deemed to be a higher and better bid at this point.” This would appear to top the $70 million offer made in January for Fairway’s five Manhattan stores and the distribution center by Springfield, N.J.-based Village Super Market, which operates 30 supermarkets and specialty markets in the Northeast under the ShopRite and Gourmet Garage banners.
Moses also told PG that any deal with Bagopa would include retaining the Fairway banner for the stores, the sixth of which is in Pelham Manor, N.Y., according to Crain's New York Business.
An auction of Fairway’s stores is scheduled take place March 16, in accordance the court-supervised sale process. Some of the grocer’s other locations have also received competitive bids, which are under evaluation. The New York-based company has 14 stores and four wine and spirits shops in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“We would like to extend gratitude to our employees, vendors, distributors and customers for their continued support, dedication and loyalty during this process,” said Fairway CEO Abel Porter. “Fairway’s store performance has generated significant interest in our stores. We look forward to a robust auction.”
“The pivotal role our sector is playing during this extraordinary time further demonstrates the critical importance of supermarkets to our communities all around the country,” noted PJ Solomon's Moses. “While all of our clients’ projects are personal, the role Fairway is playing in our community these past few weeks emphasizes the importance of this project in a new way. These Fairway stores and DC employ over 1,500 people; preserving grocery jobs remains a core focus of our work.”