Friday, November 9, 2018

Region's Tops supermarkets escape bankruptcy closings

A typical Tops supermarket. (photo provided)
Shoppers and employees who have been concerned about the fate of Tops Friendly Markets stores in their areas can breath a bit easier.

The chain, headquartered in suburban Buffalo, had announced in August it would close 10 under-performing locations as part of its financial restructuring to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On Thursday, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved plans for a slimmed-down company that can emerge from bankruptcy relatively intact and with no more immediate closings.

"We are pleased to receive the Court’s approval of our plan and are poised to emerge from this process an even stronger and more competitive company," said Frank Curci, Tops' CEO.

The restructuring appears to be confined to closings mostly in Central New York locations and leaves stores in such other locations as Hoosick Falls and around the periphery of the Capital Region -- in Coxsackie, Schroon Lake, Northville, Warrensburg, Bolton Landing, Chestertown, and Greenville -- open.

Tops, which still has more than 150 stores in New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania, will remain under the ownership of hedge funds and investors who held roughly $560 million in pre-bankruptcy borrowings that were secured by the company's assets. Tops' current management also will remain in place, with Curci staying on as CEO.

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