While there were several interested parties, it turns out Albertsons was the only qualifying bid to buy Haggen’s 29 core stores.
Court documents filed on Monday, March 14 show that the company hired to attract bidders for the auction, Sagent Advisors LLC, contacted 69 parties, with 21 showing enough interest to look at Haggen’s books. Eventually, four bids were submitted but Albertsons had the only one considered a qualifying bid, said Scott Moses, managing director at Sagent, in testimony filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Monday, March 14.
The Albertsons bid is the one that Haggen accepted on Friday, March 11. A hearing to potentially approve the sale is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29.
Moses went on to say that in order to try and gain more qualified bids, the Bellingham-based grocer entered negotiations with the potential bidders. That led to the auction being postponed four times as three parties, including Albertsons, made changes to improve their initial bids.
“However, the modifications to the bids, other than the Albertsons bid, were ultimately not sufficient for the Debtors (Haggen) to designate such other bids as qualifying bids,” Moses said in the court document.
Names of the other parties that showed interest in purchasing Haggen’s core stores were not publicly disclosed in the court documents.
In a separate court filing, Jonathan Goulding, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC, pointed out that Albertsons agreed to assume the role of Haggen’s post-petition lender, which would allow Haggen to continue operating during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
The sale, he said “will generate significant value for the Debtors’ estates and represent the best path forward for maximizing recoveries to such estates, the Debtors’ creditors and all parties in interest,” Goulding said in the court document.