Bi-Lo Asks Court for Extension of Lease Deadlines

Bi-Lo has asked a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here to extend by 90 days the deadline by which the retailer must assume or reject lease agreements for its stores.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Bi-Lo has asked a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here to extend by 90 days the deadline by which the retailer must assume or reject lease agreements for its stores. The extension would give Bi-Lo until Oct. 19 — or sooner if a reorganization plan is assumed — to tell its landlords of its plans for its stores.

Bi-Lo, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in March, has already rejected a number of leases for stores no longer operating, and recently agreed to a “cost-sharing” agreement with Ahold, Bi-Lo’s former owner and a guarantor on the majority of its leases. The Ahold agreement requires Bi-Lo to give notice to Ahold of any planned lease rejections and gives Ahold the option to take over those leases and market them for sale.

Bi-Lo in its filing said the extension would allow the retailer to engage a real estate consultant to advise the company on leases that could be renegotiated or assigned so as to maximize their value. A sale of some or all of its assets is under consideration, it added.

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