RICHMOND, Va. — Ukrop's Super Markets is in negotiations to sell to a private equity firm, sources told SN last week.
Sources requesting anonymity said the private investors — who were not identified — had outbid strategic suitors, including Harris Teeter, in the initial round of bidding for Ukrop's and have proceeded to a 30-day period of exclusive review, which began earlier this month.
Ukrop's — which has yet to acknowledge it has put itself up for sale — and Harris Teeter, a division of Ruddick Corp., Matthews, N.C., both declined comment to SN.
With stores to the north and south of Ukrop's and operating with a similar focus on service, Harris Teeter was considered a leading candidate to take over Ukrop's. However, sources said that recent struggles at Ukrop's have made valuations difficult and may have constrained bids from strategic suitors.
Negotiations are likely focused on making arrangements for supply and other logistical details.
“It's possible it could come back to someone like Harris Teeter, but through the bidding process, which went a long time, this [private equity group] was the winner,” a source told SN.