Haggen Gets the Court OK to Rapidly Sell or Close the Majority of Its Locations
BELLINGHAM, WA - More Haggen drama surfaced again last week, with the company’s Delaware bankruptcy court now approving Haggen’s request to liquidate or sell that majority of its stores.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross has ruled that store closing sales are in the best interest of the struggling company and creditors, explaining that Haggen offered “sound business reasons” to go ahead with closing sales as an “efficient means” to raise money.
This move came despite objections by Haggen's workers unions, which argued that the sale process was moving ahead too fast, according to The Seattle Times, which published that the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) had said deciding on liquidation sales before thoroughly marketing them was “putting the cart before the horse.”
Also last week, the union filed documents with the court opposing a potential deal between Haggen and Smart & Final offering $56 million in cash for 28 Haggen stores in California and Las Vegas. The union claims that Smart & Final does not have collective bargaining agreements, and disagrees with the fact that its contract for the Haggen stores would establish no obligation to hire existing employees or assume existing collective agreements.
One company the Seattle Times offers up in contrast to the Smart & Final deal is Gelson’s Market, a higher-end chain that proposed a $36 million for 8 Haggen stores. Gelson’s has agreed to extend offers to “substantially all” current employees while still respecting terms negotiated with the unions. The deal would also credit employees with their service time with Haggen.
This announcement comes less than two weeks after Haggen officials announced they would be adding six more stores to its portfolio of locations to sell.
Continue to watch AndNowUKnow for all the latest on Haggen’s developing bankruptcy proceedings.