Privately-held Central Grocers (CGI) and 11 affiliated Debtors filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware, lead case number 17-10993. The Company, which operates as a cooperative grocery wholesaler, is represented by Mark D. Collins of Richards, Layton & Finger.
A corporate release note that the Company intends to conduct an orderly sale of its Strack & Van Til stores as going concerns and anticipates entering into a sale agreement with a stalking horse bidder in the near future. Central Grocers is also seeking to sell its distribution center in Joliet as it winds down its wholesale distribution operations.
According to documents filed with the Court, “The Debtors have commenced these chapter 11 cases to execute the postpetition phase of their Sale Process. The Sale Process is the lynchpin of the Debtors’ chapter 11 strategy and is critical to maximizing recoveries for all creditors and preserving thousands of jobs. In December 2016, the Company embarked on an extensive M&A process to sell its businesses as a going concern or to consummate one or more other strategic, value-maximizing transactions that would resolve the Company’s operational and financial challenges (the ‘Sale Process’).”
In addition, “Given the Company’s accelerating cash burn, if the Debtors are unable to consummate asset sales free and clear of liabilities within their proposed timeline for these cases, all of the value that has been created and preserved through the prepetition Sale Process could be jeopardized.”
Central Grocers’ Chapter 11 petition indicates assets greater than $100 million.
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