Food Lion's plans for Bi-Lo on back burner
From staff, wire reports
Bi-Lo’s bankruptcy-exit plan doesn’t include a discussed acquisition by Food Lion, according to a statement released by the Salisbury-based grocer.
Belgian parent company Delhaize Group, parent of the Food Lion supermarket chain, agreed last month to buy a majority of the assets of Bi-Lo in a deal valued at $425 million.
“Food Lion is not part of the reorganization plans filed with the court,” Food Lion said in its statement. “We had a non-binding agreement with the debtor to acquire certain assets of Bi-Lo, but this agreement is no longer valid.”
Food Lion said it is still “strongly interested in acquiring certain Bi-Lo assets if an opportunity” arises.
Current owner Lone Star Funds, a private equity firm, would provide $350 million to repay Bi-Lo’s debt under the bankruptcy court plan. Another proposal calls for a creditors’ committee of mostly food vendors to receive 43 percent of Bi-Lo’s stock for the first $100 million of an unpaid $260 million loan. The rest would be converted into promissory notes, and a different private equity firm would be the lead investor.
Bi-Lo, founded in 1964, is privately held and based in Mauldin, S.C. The company’s reorganization plan was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina. The company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Bi-Lo operates 215 supermarkets in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. The closest Bi-Lo location is on Cannon Boulevard in Kannapolis.
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