Fairway Says Hold Off on the Obituary, Denies Reports It Will Liquidate

The New York City chain says that a New York Post report on the company is wrong.
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New York City-based grocer Fairway Market officially denied a New York Post report stating that the company was planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and close all of its stores.

The company said that all 14 of its stores will remain open more than three years after the company first filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2016, which allowed it to continue as a going concern.

"Such statements are categorically untrue and disappointing. Fairway has been engaged in a strategic process and expects to soon announce a value-maximizing transaction that will provide for the ongoing operations of stores,” Fairway said in a statement Wednesday.

The Post reported that Fairway would liquidate its assets, including its flagship store at Broadway and West 74th Street. The paper reported that rival Village Super Market VLGEA, the publicly held owner of ShopRite, has expressed interest in acquiring a handful of Fairway stores and keeping the name.

Reportedly there were other interested prospective buyers, but they were scared off by the company’s $174 million debt and expensive leases, including the $6 million in rent it pays on its flagship store, according to reports.

The Glickberg family that owned the company sold an 80% stake in Fairway to private-equity firm Sterling Investment in 2007. The firm then took the company public in 2013 after an aggressive expansion that reportedly produced $300 million in debt and losses every quarter in the three years following its public debut.

In May 2016, Fairway filed for Chapter 11 and was bought by Blackstone’s GSO Capital, which then sold its stake to Brigade Capital Management and Goldman Sachs.