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Kroger, Fresh Encounter win Marsh sites at auction

25 of 44 stores go for $24M

Kroger Co. and Fresh Encounter were the successful bidders for stores operated by Marsh Supermarkets in the latter’s auction in a Delaware Federal Bankruptcy Court Monday.

According to documents filed with the court Tuesday, 25 of 44 stores were sold for a total of $24 million.

Topvalco, a subsidiary of Kroger, would assume 11 Marsh leases in Indiana: Bloomington (2 stores), Brownsburg, Zionsville (2 stores), Greenwood, Muncie (2 stores), Indianapolis (W. Michigan Street) and Fishers. The total price was $16 million.

Those stores are expected to reopen under the Kroger banner, adding to its leading share in Indiana, though it was not immediately clear whether Kroger would use any of the units for replacement stores of existing units.

Generative Growth LLC, associated with the Findlay, Ohio, retailer Fresh Encounter, is acquiring another 15 stores. Fresh Encounter operates several independent retail brands and acquired Remke Markets earlier this year. Fresh Encounter will acquire stores in New Palestine; Marion; Indianapolis (2 stores: Fox Road and New Jersey Street); Columbus; Hartford City; Elwood; Tipton; Pendleton; Richmond and Greenberg, Ind.; as well as stores in Troy; Van Wert; Middletown and Eaton, Ohio. Those stores would be sold for $8 million, documents said.

Marsh, a one-time icon of the industry, filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in May after closing 19 stores.

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