Balducci’s Sells Six Stores to Investment Group

Balducci’s LLC has sold six of its 10 stores, along with its licensing, catering and gift basket operations, to an investor group led by Jim Demme, senior adviser to the New York investment firm of Angelo, Gordon & Co. The stores are located in Bethesda, Md.; Alexandria and McLean, Va.; Scarsdale, N.Y.; and Westport and Greenwich, Conn. The terms of the sale were not revealed.

All assets have been transferred to the new ownership group except for Greenwich location, which will be transferred upon receipt of customary approvals, according to Balducci’s.

Of the grocer’s remaining four stores, locations in Ridgefield, Conn. and New York’s Chelsea and Lincoln Square areas, will remain open until April 26, and a unit in Washington, D.C. will remain open until the week of June 29, 2009. These stores will maintain normal store hours and will continue to honor Balducci’s customer rewards, gift certificates and sale promotions until they close.

"[W]e closed our underperforming stores, and the remaining stores were purchased by an investment group," Balducci's director of marketing Jennifer Barton confirmed to Progressive Grocer, adding that the purchased stores would "continue to run and operate as Balducci's stores."

Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC, the FINRA registered affiliate of Duff & Phelps Corp., initiated the transaction, helped in the negotiations and acted as exclusive financial adviser to Balducci’s.

Founded in 1916 in New York, Balducci’s was acquired by Bethesda, Md.-based Sutton Place Gourmet in 1999, which was in turn acquired by Bear Sterns’ merchant banking group in December 2003.
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