As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, the Washington-based Haggen grocery chain began its auction to sell 127 stores in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington on Tuesday morning at a Hyatt hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.
The three-day-long process, in which each store will be individually auctioned to a group of approximately 40 bidders, comes after Haggen drowned financially in its effort to take over 147 Albertsons and Safeway stores it purchased in a Federal Trade Commission-approved merger between the two grocery giants. The auction is organized by geographic location and focused Tuesday on Haggen’s Arizona, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Bakersfield/Riverside markets.
On Wednesday, the chain’s Santa Barbara, Oxnard/Ventura, San Luis Obispo, San Diego, and Las Vegas markets will be auctioned. According to a document filed last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, three companies have filed baseline bids on four Haggen stores in Santa Barbara County. Smart & Final, a warehouse-style grocery chain, previously filed stalking horse bids on Haggen’s upper State Street location in Santa Barbara and Linden Avenue location in Carpinteria, which Haggen said will be reviewed Friday by the bankruptcy court.
Albertsons bid $300,000 on the H Street location in Lompoc and $1.6 million on the Turnpike Road location in Goleta. Sprouts Farmers Markets, a health food grocer with 200 stores across the country, bid $1 million on Goleta’s Fairview Road location. Roxy’s Market, listed online as a natural foods store with two locations in Colorado and Montana, bid $75,000 on Santa Barbara’s Cliff Drive store.
Haggen’s Oregon and Washington markets, including stores in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and Eugene, among others, are scheduled for auction Thursday. Final bidding results are to be announced.
Haggen released the following statement in response to the auction:
“Haggen is pleased to report that the auction for its non-core sale process is scheduled to begin on November 9 with many qualified bidders. The Company anticipates an active auction for the sale of the remainder of the non-core stores that were marketed for sale. As no topping bids were submitted for the two stalking horse bidder packages, the sale agreements with Gelson’s Markets for eight stores and Smart & Final for 28 stores will be presented to the bankruptcy court for approval at a hearing on November 13.”