Atmore’s Belle Foods location on Lindberg Avenue may soon have a new owner after an auction held Tuesday.
Atmore’s Belle Foods location on Lindberg Avenue may soon have a new owner after an auction held Tuesday.

Atmore Belle Foods sale may soon be final

Published 9:32pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Belle Foods supermarket in Atmore may soon have a new owner.

A closed auction was held Tuesday, where at least six bidders offered to purchase the assets of the remaining 43 Belle Foods stores. According to published media reports, the winning bidder was Associated Wholesale Growers (AWG) of Kansas.

According to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, AWG offered a bid of $16.13 million. It entered the auction as a “stalking horse” bidder, which meant AWG agreed to ensure that offers from other potential bidders would be acceptable to Belle Foods’ primary creditor, C&S Wholesale Growers.

Because AWG’s “stalking horse” bid was accepted in Tuesday’s closed auction, it appears that the Atmore store will be saved. Under AWG’s bidding plan, the Atmore store will be sold to a company called Ramey Enterprises, of Waynesboro, Miss. Ramey Enterprises will also purchase the store in Luverne.

Under AWG’s plan, it was not immediately clear what the Brewton store’s fate would be. According to the court filing, Food Giant Supermarkets would purchase the Brewton store’s assets, but the store will be acquired as “closed.” However, some stores in the filing were also listed as “to be liquidated” — Brewton was not among those stores.

According to published media reports, an attorney for Belle Foods said AWG’s stalking horse deal allows the company to keep as many of its stores open as possible.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama is set to hear the final bids at a hearing Friday.

Belle Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July.

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