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No bidders emerge for Ultra stores

Strack & Van Til, warehouse auction this week

No successful bidders emerged in a bankruptcy auction late last week for 11 Ultra Foods stores, owner Central Grocers said.

The cooperative distributor said the auction for those properties was adjourned to an unspecified date.

The 11 stores in the auction were previously closed by Central, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, two days after its suppliers sought to force it into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those cases were subsequently merged as a Chapter 11 case commencing on the earlier date.

Central had been searching for a buyer since December.

The auction last week was for Ultra stores in Highland, Gary, and Merrillville, Ind.; and in Kankakee, Downers Groce, Chicago Heights, Calumet Park, Joliet, Crestwod, Landing and Forest Park, Ill. Those stores were previously operated by Strack & Van Til, the retailer 80% owned by Central.

A separate auction set for Thursday will include the 19 Strack & Van Til and Town & Country Market stores bid for by Albertsons’ Jewel Food chain, as well as Central’s Joliet, Ill., warehouse, an Ultra Foods store in Merrillville, Ind., a commissary in Valparaiso, Ind., and Strack’s Highland, Ind., headquarters.

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