Piggly Wiggly Midwest was the winning bidder for three Chicago-area Joe Caputo & Sons IGA stores that were auctioned on Thursday.
Paul Butera, chairman and president of the distributor, told SN Friday his intention was to get the stores to independent operators who would convert the banners, but that no plans were complete yet.
He said the stores would not run under his own Butera Markets banner nor Piggly Wiggly, explaining the former runs a higher quality produce offering than the acquired stores, and the latter name has little equity in greater Chicago. Until then, Butera said the stores, located in Algonquin, Des Plaines and Palatine, Ill., would remain open and doing business under their current banner.
"We have 30 days to decide what to do," he said.
The winning bid of $32 million is subject to court approval.
As previously reported, the stores were ordered to an auction so as to settle a debt between Joe Caputo & Sons and a produce distributor, Anthony Marano Inc.
Beset by heavy debt, Caputo & Sons last year closed supermarkets in Northbrook, Ill., and Arlington Heights, Ill., late last year, and closed a store in Elk Grove Village earlier this year. Caputo had acquired those locations — all former Dominick's stores — from Safeway in 2014 when it exited the Chicago market.
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