Fresh & Easy Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
EL SEGUNDO, CA – It appears that even supermarket mogul and billionaire Ron Burkle wasn’t enough to save Fresh & Easy.
The retailer has filed for bankruptcy today, just a little over a week after it began an “organized wind-down” of its business. As we previously reported, Fresh & Easy spokesperson Brendan Wonnacott confirmed that the company was unable to obtain financing and the liquidity necessary to continue to fund the business going forward.
Fresh & Easy's website now states, "All stores closing!" and "Everything Must Go!" with price cuts up to 40 percent off on every item in stores, including fresh produce.
According to Reuters, the company listed debt between $100 million and $500 million in its chapter 11 petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Two years ago, Fresh & Easy sold virtually all of its assets to Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies, citing “poorly located stores and intense competition” in its Southern California home market. The firm went on to later acquire approximately 150 Fresh & Easy stores, as well as its Riverside food production and distribution center. Tesco, Fresh & Easy’s parent company, loaned the new business £80 million (approximately $120 million U.S.) as part of the deal, but the additional finances weren’t enough to turn the company around.
Yucaipa owns a stake in a number of retail companies, including Food4Less, Fred Meyer, and A&P, which also filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue to follow this developing story.