AWG, ALEX LEE BID ON 29 WINN-DIXIES

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores here last week said Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., and Alex Lee, Hickory, N.C., emerged as high bidders to acquire 29 of its stores.through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.Altogether Winn-Dixie said it received $46 million in bids for 102 of its stores. All bids were subject to court approval at hearings that took place late last week.Bi-Lo/Southern

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores here last week said Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., and Alex Lee, Hickory, N.C., emerged as high bidders to acquire 29 of its stores.

through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Altogether Winn-Dixie said it received $46 million in bids for 102 of its stores. All bids were subject to court approval at hearings that took place late last week.

Bi-Lo/Southern Family Markets, the affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers based in Keene, N.H., was listed as the winning bidder for 21 stores.

Southern Family is acquiring seven of the sites, while Bi-Lo, which was spun off last year by Ahold and is now supplied by C&S, is buying 14, according to reports.

Supervalu, Minneapolis, which pooled bids for its customers in the area, won 16 of the sites. Harris-Teeter won six sites, all in North Carolina, and Food Lion, which also did not participate in the first round of bids, won another five sites in North Carolina and one in Georgia.

Publix Super Markets nabbed three stores, including two in Florida and one in Georgia, and Ingles won bids for two North Carolina sites.

It was not immediately clear how AWG and Alex Lee were collaborating on the bids. Most of the stores they were seeking to acquire are in North Carolina, where Lowe's Foods, a supermarket chain owned by Alex Lee, has a strong presence. Neither Alex Lee nor AWG could be reached for comment.

Many of the Winn-Dixies being acquired by Bi-Lo and Southern Family are in South Carolina, with the rest located in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.