On her The Bottom Line 11 blog, Fox partner Mette Kurth discussed the recent bankruptcy filing of regional supermarket chain Tops Markets:
Regional grocery chains continue to struggle as Supermarket chain Tops Markets filed for bankruptcy protection in Manhattan yesterday. (Is the re-pocalypse heading for your local grocer? Learn more here.)
Tops operates 169 full-service supermarkets, 168 under the Tops trade name and one under Orchard Fresh. And franchisees operate five more. The markets are focused on key regions in upstate New York, Northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
Tops’ Bankruptcy Objectives
The company has identified three core objectives: reducing its debt, renegotiating or cancelling leases and supply agreements, and negotiating with its labor unions.
Tops hopes to complete its bankruptcy process in roughly six months. During its first three months, it plans to focus on creditor negotiations. Then, if all goes well, it will implement its negotiated plan. Towards that end, it has agreed to some milestones:
– April 2, 2018: Entry of final orders approving its financing;
– May 7, 2018: Execution of a restructuring support agreement with key lenders;
– July 21, 2018: Filing of a disclosure statement and solicitation of a plan acceptable to its key lenders, with confirmation 60 days thereafter.
As a further update, the formation meeting has been set for March 6. To read Mette’s full viewpoint on the filing, please visit her blog.