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A&P to Sell Coffee Business to Private Equity Firm

MONTVALE, N.J. - The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (A&P) today announced an agreement to sell its Eight O'Clock coffee division to Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco based private equity firm, for cash and a note.

The company said it will realize cash proceeds of $107.5 million and receive a contingent Note for up to $20 million, the value and payment of which is based on certain elements of the future performance of the business. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and reviews, including the closing of the buyer's financing.

Christian Haub, chairman of the Board, president & c.e.o. of A&P, said "This transaction will conclude our previously announced asset divestiture initiative to lower debt and reduce operating costs. This included the sales of our northern New England and Wisconsin operations earlier this year.

"Upon completion of the Eight O'Clock coffee transaction, we will have realized total proceeds of approximately $285 million from the asset divestiture initiatives. Although difficult, these actions were necessary to the revitalization of our U.S. business and the company's long-term success," Haub said.
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