Lucky's Market announced Jan. 27 that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has signed agreements with Aldi and Publix Super Markets Inc. to acquire 11 of its locations.
Discount food store Aldi will take five of Lucky's leased properties and purchase one that Lucky's owns. Publix also will take five leased locations.
Lucky's did not say which properties Aldi and Publix will acquire.
Niwot, Colorado-based Lucky's Market is closing 32 of its 39 natural foods stores, including two it leases in Northeast Florida in Neptune Beach and Oakleaf.
Aldi has been expanding in Florida and has 12 Northeast Florida sites opened or proposed, including in Oakleaf, but none at the Beaches.
"We can confirm Aldi is in negotiations to acquire several Lucky’s Market locations in Florida," said Dan Gavin, Vice President National Real Estate, Aldi U.S. in an email. "Site acquisitions are an important part of our growth efforts."
Gavin said that Aldi operates two distribution centers and 144 stores in Florida and plans to open as many as 20 more in 2020.
"We are on track to become the third-largest U.S. grocery retailer by store count by 2022," Gavin said.
Publix operates 56 stores in the Northeast Florida market.
The seven Lucky's Markets that will remain open comprise the Melbourne store in Florida; two in Colorado; two in Ohio; and one each in Michigan and Missouri.
Lucky's said it is running sales at the 32 locations that it will close in the coming weeks. The closing sales are 25% off.
Lucky's said the asset purchase agreement with Aldi is subject to court approval and an overbidding process. It filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
The company retained the PJ Solomon investment bank to assist it in the sale of company assets.
Lucky's said that at the time of the Chapter 11 filing, it had sufficient cash on hand and the continued ability to meet its financial obligations, including those to its employees, as well as to vendors for the continued supply of product to its operating locations.
In addition to PJ Solomon as its investment banker, Lucky's said the Polsinelli firm is serving as the company's legal counsel and Alvarez & Marsal is serving as the restructuring adviser.