The Montvale, N.J., based chain, which reported assets and liabilities of more than $1 billion each, has hired Evercore Partners, an investment bank that specializes in selling assets, according to Reuters and others.
Reuters also reported that A&P said was in talks with Albertsons-Safeway's Acme Markets, Ahold USA's Shop & Shop Supermarket and Key Food Stores Co-operative to buy its assets.
Speculation over the future of A&P flared again last week amid an article in the New York Post saying A&P would file for bankruptcy protection and dissolve as a result of asset sales as soon as this week. Citing confidential sources, the Post said Albertsons' Acme chain was looking to acquire as many as 80 A&P locations and that Kroger and Ahold are also expected to eye sites.
A&P has lined up buyers for 120 of its 296 stores with total expected proceeds of about $600 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a knowledgeable source.
The company has put itself and/or parts of the company for sale several times previously — most recently in 2013 — but thus far has failed to make a significant deal.
A&P has received debtor-in-possession financing of $100 million from Fortress Credit Corp, court documents show, according to Reuters.
The chain, which employs about 34,000, first filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
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