Jewel Foods Stores to Serve as “Stalking Horse Bidder” in Court-Supervised Sale Process
All Strack & Van Til, Town & Country Market and Ultra Foods Stores Are Open and Serving Customers
Central Grocers Continues to Evaluate Proposals to Acquire its State-of-the-Art, 1,000,000 Square Foot Distribution Center in Joliet, Illinois, and its Six Additional Raceway Real Estate Assets
Central Grocers, Inc. (“Central Grocers” or the “Company”) today announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Jewel Foods Stores Inc. (“Jewel-Osco”), a subsidiary of Albertsons Companies, LLC., under which Jewel-Osco has agreed to purchase and will serve as the “stalking horse bidder” in a court-supervised sale process for 19 Strack & Van Til stores and for certain other assets. The 19 stores will be sold as going concerns. Jewel-Osco has agreed to interview and extend offers of employment to substantially all of the employees of the stores that are part of the transaction.
Central Grocers is continuing to evaluate proposals to acquire its state-of-the-art, 1,000,000 square foot distribution center in Joliet, Illinois, and its six additional Raceway real estate assets as it winds down its wholesale distribution operations. The three Ultra stores not included in the transaction are currently open and operating. The Company is continuing to pursue a sale of those assets. Any such asset sales will be conducted through a process authorized by the Bankruptcy Court.
All Strack & Van Til, Town & Country Market and Ultra Foods stores in Indiana and Illinois are open and serving customers. The Company continues to cooperate with its lenders and expects to have access to sufficient liquidity to continue operating its stores and winding down the distribution center in an orderly fashion.
The proposed Strack & Van Til store transaction is being undertaken pursuant to section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and is subject to higher or better offers. If other qualified bids are submitted, the Company will conduct an auction with the agreement with Jewel-Osco setting the floor for the auction process. The transaction is also subject to, among other things, Bankruptcy Court approval and certain other customary conditions.
A hearing in the Bankruptcy Court to approve proposed bidding procedures and the auction process is scheduled for June 2, 2017. Assuming court approval of the bidding procedures, the deadline for submitting qualified bids would be June 21, 2017. If any additional qualified bids are submitted, an auction would be held on June 26, 2017. A hearing to approve a sale will take place on June 23, 2017 if no other qualified bids are received and on July 10, 2017 if other qualified bids are received.
Stores Included in the Asset Purchase Agreement:
- Strack & Van Til in Cedar Lak, IN Store number: 8756
- Strack & Van Til in Chesterton, IN Store number: 8748
- Strack & Van Til in Crown Point, IN Store number: 8797
- Strack & Van Til in Crown Point, IN Store number: 8787
- Strack & Van Til in East Chicago, IN Store number: 8798
- Strack & Van Til in St Hammond, IN Store number: 8786
- Strack & Van Til in Highland, IN Store number: 8765
- Strack & Van Til in Hobart, IN Store number: 8778
- Strack & Van Til in Hobart, IN Store number: 8747
- Strack & Van Til in Lowell, IN Store number: 8755
- Strack & Van Til in Munster, IN Store number: 8789
- Strack & Van Til in Rensselaer, IN Store number: 8754
- Strack & Van Til in Saint John, IN Store number: 8795
- Strack & Van Til in Schererville, IN Store number: 8768
- Strack & Van Til in Valparaiso, IN Store number: 8750
- Strack & Van Til in Valparaiso, IN Store number: 8749
- Strack & Van Til in Whiting, IN Store number: 8793
- Town & Country in Portage, IN Store number: 8782
- Town & Country in Valparaiso, IN Store number: 8780
Court filings and other documents related to the court-supervised proceedings are available at a website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Prime Clerk, at https://cases.primeclerk.com/centralgrocers. Additional information is available by calling the Company’s Restructuring Hotline at (866) 727-8489 or by emailing CentralGrocersInfo@PrimeClerk.com.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel to the Company, Peter J. Solomon Company is serving as financial advisor, and Conway MacKenzie is serving as the chief restructuring officer.
About Central Grocers, Inc.
Based in Joliet, Illinois, Central Grocers, Inc. is a grocery cooperative that serves independent supermarket retailers in the Chicagoland area.
About Strack & Van Til
Strack & Van Til is a grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. The company currently operates 22 stores in Illinois and Indiana under the banner names Strack and Van Til, Ultra Foods and Town & Country Market. SVT, LLC is an equal opportunity employer. The company is owned by Central Grocers, Inc.