2 Ohio Grocers Make Conditional $24M Offer On 26 Marsh Stores

Jun 13, 2017

Two Ohio-based firms offered to buy more than half of the remaining Marsh grocery stores at Monday’s bankruptcy auction.

The deal hinges on the outcome of a dispute between Indiana-based Marsh and CVS Pharmacies.

At the auction in Delaware, Kroger subsidiary Topvalco offered $16 million for 11 Marsh stores in Indianapolis, Zionsville, Muncie, Bloomington, Brownsburg, Fishers and Greenwood.

That’s according to bankruptcy court documents filed Tuesday.

The documents say the other bidder is a corporation called Generative Growth II, which owns the Fresh Encounter grocery store brands in Ohio. The company wants to pay $8 million for the four Marshes left in Ohio and 11 other Indiana stores.

Those are in Indianapolis, Columbus, Greensburg, Tipton, Marion, Hartford City, Elwood, Pendleton, New Palestine and Richmond.

The deal leaves no buyer for 18 other Marsh stores still open in Indiana, including ones in and around Indianapolis, Carmel, Lafayette and Kokomo. Marsh told the state last month that all remaining stores would close in mid-July without a buyer.

And the deal with Kroger and Fresh Encounter isn’t sealed yet.

The two companies want the option of opening pharmacies when they rebrand the 26 stores they’ve offered to buy.

Marsh sold its pharmacy assets to a CVS subsidiary in April. That deal came on the condition that Marsh would wait five years before reopening pharmacies in stores that used to have them.

In court documents, Marsh argues that condition doesn’t apply to a business that buys those stores, or in a bankruptcy situation generally.

CVS has filed an objection to the sale plan. A judge has to overrule it before the deal proceeds.

The next hearing on the proposed sales is Wednesday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.