INVESTOR BUYS 25% STAKE IN A&P
MONTVALE, N.J. — A California investment company has acquired a 25% ownership stake in A&P by gobbling up shares on the open market. Aletheia Research & Management, Santa Monica, Calif., in a disclosure statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month revealed it had acquired 147 million shares of A&P in a series of purchases between Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, representing an investment of more than $136.5 million. Aletheia in the filing said it had no current plans for changes in A&P's business practices or its board of directors but said it reserves the right to make changes in the future. Another California investor, Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos., earlier this year invested $115 million in A&P, giving it a 27% ownership stake.
TRUSTEE SUES BRUNO'S FORMER OWNER
DALLAS — The liquidating trustee for Bruno's Supermarkets is suing the chain's former owner, Lone Star Holdings, charging that Lone Star used Bruno's to improve the marketability of Bi-Lo, a sister chain that was once operated with Bruno's as a single company. Bruno's filed for bankruptcy protection in February and was ordered to liquidate in October. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court here, the trustee, William S. Kaye, charged that “creditors' losses could have been avoided if Bruno's management had acted in Bruno's and its creditors' best interests instead of acceding to the control and domination of its parent company.” It names Lone Star and several Lone Star and Bruno's executives as defendants. The suit alleges that Lone Star, which was operating Bi-Lo and Bruno's as a single company, split them into separate entities in 2007 to improve the marketability of Bi-Lo.
DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR PENN TRAFFIC
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The deadline for bids to buy Penn Traffic's stores has been extended through the end of January after lender GE Capital agreed to a request for additional time from Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Penn Traffic, which operates 79 stores under the BiLo, P&C and Quality Market banners, is seeking to liquidate under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company had received a liquidation “stalking horse” offer for at least $36.5 million, and an offer from Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper to acquire 22 P&C stores for $54 million. Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops reportedly was planning to offer $90 million for the entire chain.
RIDLEY'S BUYS 2 UTAH ALBERTSONS
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Ridley's Family Markets here has purchased two of the four remaining Supervalu-owned Albertsons stores in Utah that have been up for sale. Ridley's operates 14 stores — 10 in Idaho, two in Utah (prior to the purchase) and one each in Nevada and Wyoming. The two Albertsons stores Ridley's purchased are in Orem, near Salt Lake City. Both stores are approximately 55,000 square feet and include pharmacies. Supervalu sold 36 of the Utah-based Albertsons locations in July to Associated Food Stores, Salt Lake City; Ridley's is a customer of Associated.
JORDAN SUES OVER PRINT ADS: REPORT
CHICAGO — NBA star Michael Jordan has reportedly sued food retailers Jewel-Osco and Dominick's here, charging in separate suits that the retailers ran print advertisements implying his endorsement without permission. The ads appeared in a commemorative edition of Sports Illustrated magazine.