A&P Emerges From Chapter 11
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. (A&P) has successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a privately held company. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York confirmed the Montvale, N.J.-based company’s reorganization plan late last month.
As revealed earlier, Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, The Yucaipa Cos. LLC and investment funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP provided $490 million in debt and equity financing to back A&P’s reorganization plan and wind up its balance sheet restructuring. Additionally, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse arranged a $645 million exit financing facility.
“In just over one year, we have completed a thorough restructuring of A&P’s cost structure and balance sheet to build a strong foundation for the company’s future,” noted A&P president and CEO Sam Martin. “With the full support of our financial partners, the new A&P is committed to delivering exceptional value and an enhanced in-store experience to all of our customers across our more than 300 neighborhood food and drug stores.”
As part of the restructuring process, A&P has put together a new management team with seasoned executives who are acknowledged experts in their respective areas. This includes the promotion of Raymond P. Silcock to the position of CFO, reporting to Martin. Silcock succeeds Frederic F. “Jake” Brace, who is resigning as chief restructuring, financial and administrative officer in tandem with A&P’s emergence from Chapter 11. Brace will remain with the company as an adviser.
“Ray brings to A&P significant food industry experience as a CFO of both private and public companies,” said Martin. “Since joining the company in December, Ray has worked alongside Jake and the entire finance team to complete our restructuring and put in place the right financial foundation to support our emergence as a private company.”
Silcock came to A&P as head of finance. Before joining the company, he was executive-in-residence at Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm Palm Ventures LLC. Over the previous 15 years, he was CEO of a number of public and privately held companies in the food and beverage industry, among them UST Inc., Swift & Co. and Cott Corp. Silcock began his career at Campbell Soup Co., where he held a variety of financial roles of increasing responsibility over an 18-year tenure.
A&P also adjusted its store footprint around its core markets; negotiated a new supply and logistics agreement with its principal supplier, Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc.; and worked with local unions representing A&P’s associates to modify their collective-bargaining agreements. Further activities included refurbishing stores, eliminating closed-store leases, and opening a new Superfresh store in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties communities.
“We greatly appreciate the support of our associates, vendors, unions and community leaders throughout the restructuring process, and we especially thank our customers for their loyalty and commitment to shopping at our stores,” said Martin. “Going forward, we remain committed to investing in our stores and providing our customers with new products that match their health-and-wellness needs and reflect the diversity of the neighborhoods we serve.”
A&P operates 320 stores in six states under the following banners: A&P, Best Cellars, Food Basics, The Food Emporium, Pathmark, Superfresh and Waldbaum’s.