Haggen has found two buyers for 36 of its stores in the California and Nevada markets.
Smart & Final, based in Commerce, agreed to acquire 28 store leases for a purchase price of $56 million. The core stores include 16 of Haggen’s historical stores, one stand-alone pharmacy and 21 stores acquired from Albertson’s. Of the 28 stores Smart & Final is looking to purchase 27 are in California, with Las Vegas as the one Nevada location. In August, the Haggen company announced it would close 27 stores, followed by its own lawsuit against Albertsons for up to $1 billion in damages, alleging Albertsons sabotaged the deal.
“Haggen plans to continue to build its brand in partnership with its dedicated corporate support and store teams”.
All of the sales will have to be approved by a bankruptcy court.
Gelson’s, based in Encino, is a high-end supermarket chain with 18 stores across Southern California.
The transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter, if approved by the bankruptcy court and if the two retailers who signed purchase agreements remain the most successful bidders in an auction process.
Both agreements are subject to bankruptcy court approval.Haggen voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 in September, allowing the embattled grocer to continue conducting business while seeking financial relief and paying its creditors. The motions present global bidding procedures, stalking horse package bid procedures and a schedule of stores being sold.
The company plans to convert these stores to its Smart & Final Extra! store format, including investment in store fixtures and equipment, decor and signage and infrastructure upgrades. Parties interested in participating in the sale of stores need to submit an indication of interest by no later than October 26.
Haggen aims to hold an auction on November 9.
The motion also asks for court approval of the Gelson’s and Smart and Final agreements, the release said.