Tops Friendly Markets files for bankruptcy

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Grocer seeks to reduce debt via Chapter 11 filing

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Tops Friendly Markets LLC on Wednesday announced it is pursuing a financial restructuring in order to eliminate a substantial portion of debt from its balance sheet and position the company for success.

Tops said its has 169 full-service supermarkets and five franchisee-operated stores under the Tops Markets banner in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and Vermont. The company said it would continue to serve store customers during the court-supervised restructuring process.

Tops filed for reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Tops has built strong market share, and our stores continue to distinguish themselves by offering quality products at affordable prices with superior customer service,” said Frank Curci, chief executive officer of Tops Markets. “We believe the financing that we received from our noteholders is a vote of confidence in our business. Our operations are strong, and we have an outstanding network of stores and a talented team to support them. We are now undertaking a financial restructuring, through which we expect to substantially reduce our debt and achieve long-term financial flexibility. This will enable us to invest further in our stores, create an even more exceptional shopping experience for our customers and compete more effectively in today’s highly competitive and evolving market.”

Tops said it had received a commitment for loans — from certain noteholders and from Bank of America — in support of the company’s continued operations throughout the court-supervised restructuring process.

In addition, the company has filed a number of customary motions seeking court authorization to continue business operations, including the continued payment of employee wages and benefits. The company intends to pay vendors and suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided after the filing date of February 21.



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