Acme Markets wins bid to buy 27 Kings, Balducci's stores

Malvern, Pa.-based Acme said Wednesday that it expects to finalize the transaction later this fiscal year, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory and court approvals.

At the time of its Chapter 11 filing, Parsippany, N.J.-based KB Holdings — whose majority owner is GSSG Capital Corp. — said it had accepted a $75 million stalking-horse bid for the Kings and Balducci’s stores from New York investment firm TLI Bedrock.

Plans call for the upscale Kings and Balducci’s grocery stores to retain their banners and become part of Albertsons’ Mid-Atlantic division, which operates Acme and Safeway supermarkets on the East Coast.

“We are so pleased that with this successful bid from Acme that both the Kings and Balducci’s brands will continue their proud traditions of offering the finest food and premium service for our customers for years to come,” Judy Spires, CEO of KB US Holdings, said in a statement.

KB had “experienced significant challenges” in the years leading up to the Chapter 11 filing, according to M. Benjamin Jones, senior managing director at Ankura Consulting Group, which the retailer engaged in November 2018 as a financial adviser to evaluate strategic options for the business.

Challenges included rising competition in the grocery retail sector, low earnings and a heavy debt load, which impaired KB’s ability to invest in its stores and technology infrastructure, Jones explained.

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