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US retailer Marsh Supermarkets files for bankruptcy

RBR Staff Writer Published 12 May 2017

US-based Marsh Supermarkets has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it tries to sell off its remaining 44 stores.

The 86-year-old grocery store chain stated that all its 44 locations will continue to operate normally throughout the bankruptcy process.

It has launched a marketing process to divest its stores which will be handled by New York-based investment banking firm, Peter J. Solomon Company.

Marsh Supermarkets CEO Tom O'Boyle said that the decision to file for bankruptcy was extremely difficult but was necessary to save the value of the grocery chain while a sale process is on.

Boyle added: "After reviewing every alternative, we concluded that Chapter 11 clearly provides the most effective and efficient means to ensure the best recovery for the Company's stakeholders."

Marsh Supermarkets has confessed that it has struggled in the recent times to compete against bigger retail players who have made the grocery marketplace in both Indiana and Ohio highly competitive.

It added further that the crowded retail space has resulted in price-cutting and other kinds of marketing activities that have put extreme pressure on profit margins.

Marsh said that it had closed 21 stores this year that were found to be unprofitable. Last month, it also divested its in-store pharmacy chain to Hook-SupeRx, a CVS Pharmacy subsidiary.

The supermarket chain believes that the remaining 44 stores that it runs can be a useful acquisition or merger partner for a grocery firm or any other buyer.

Founded in 1931, Marsh Supermarkets was acquired by MSH Supermarkets, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners for $11.125 per share. Marsh at that time had about 120 grocery stores.


Image: Inside a Marsh store. Photo: courtesy of Marsh Supermarkets, Inc.