A private-equity company has made a move to acquire two New York metro area upscale grocers.
KB US Holdings, the parent company of Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market banners, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and accepted a stalking horse bid from New York-based venture capital firm TLI Bedrock to purchase the company for $75 million in the next 60 days. (As part of the bankruptcy process, higher and better bids will be solicited.)
Kings, based in Parsippany, N.J., operates 25 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Balducci operates 10 stores, with locations in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.
KB said it has secured a commitment for approximately $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing secured lender, which it will use in conjunction with the cash it brings in from its operations to help it keep running during the sale process. The company also said it has sufficient liquidity to meet its go-forward business obligations and will operate its business as usual and pay its business partners for goods and services provided on or after the filing date of August 23.
"We are pleased to be moving forward with a sale so we can position Kings and Balducci's for even greater long-term success,”said Judith Spires, CEO of KB US Holdings. “During this COVID crisis, our associates and communities have demonstrated not only the viability but absolute necessity of our markets in their communities. Our sales and service have never been stronger; we are confident we will emerge from this process without missing a beat, well-positioned for future stability and success.”