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Court OKs Tops Reorganization

Retailer expects to emerge from Chapter 11 'stronger and more competitive': CEO Frank Curci
Tops Friendly Market
Photograph courtesy of Tops

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has confirmed Tops Markets plan of reorganization, paving an end to nine months under Chapter 11 protection.

“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,” Frank Curci, CEO of the Williamsville, N.Y.-based retailer, said in a statement. “Through this process, we have accomplished several key objectives, including significantly reducing our debt, creating a viable cost structure and efficiently optimizing our store portfolio. Importantly, we provided an opportunity for employment to every associate who was interested and impacted by store closings at other nearby stores. Our restructuring will create an even more exceptional shopping experience for our customers and assure that we will continue to serve our communities like no one else can.”

Tops filed for Chapter 11 protection in February seeking to undertake a balance sheet restructuring, optimize its lease and supply contract, and renegotiate collective bargaining agreements and pension obligations with various labor unions. Tops “accomplished all of these goals in less than nine months, with virtually no litigation,” Chief Restructuring Officer Michael Buenzow said in a declaration filed with the court.

An analysis filed along with Buenzow's declaration indicated creditors under the plan would receive “significantly more” under the reorganization than a liquidation alternative. All eligible classes of creditors voted to approve the terms of the plan.

Tops closed 10 underperforming stores during the course of the Chapter 11 case. It operates 159 full-service supermarkets with five additional stores run by franchisees under the Tops Markets banner.

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