WILMINGTON, Del. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here on Monday.
It plans to sell itself through the bankruptcy auction process to Los Angeles-based Yucaipa Cos. Fresh & Easy, a division of Cheshunt, England-based Tesco, previously said it would sell about 150 of its 200 locations to Yucapia, and loan Yucapia about $120 million as part of its agreement to exit the U.S.
SN reported on Saturday that the company was likely to pursue a bankruptcy filing to exit the leases of locations that Yucaipa has not agreed to acquire.
In the filing Fresh & Easy listed debts of more than $500 million and assets of $100 million to $500 million.
According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report, Tesco blamed the economic and real estate downturn for the filing.
“Many of Fresh & Easy’s leases are substantially above market, relative to its competitors,” Fresh & Easy Chief Financial Officer James Dibbo said in an affidavit, Bloomberg reported. “The effect of the real estate market was especially pronounced.”
Read more: Fresh & Easy Eyes Bankruptcy
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