Marsh Said About to Unload Village Pantry Chain

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Marsh Said About to Unload Village Pantry Chain

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Marsh Supermarkets here is close to selling off Village Pantry, its 154-unit convenience chain, said unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

The spinoff of Village Pantry would mark the latest in a series of major changes at Marsh that have included management implosion, disasterous financial results, and acquisition by private equity investors last September.

Sources now have told CSNews Online, a sister news service to Progressive Grocer, that the Village Pantry chain will soon be split from parent company

Marsh Supermarkets was bought by private investment firm Sun Capital Partners at the end of September through the grocer's affiliate, MSH Supermarkets Inc. The purchase cost Sun Capital $325 million.

One month after the close of that deal, the company closed four of its Village Pantry convenience stores and 12 of the chain's supermarkets in Indiana and Ohio, in an effort to improve the company's financial performance.

Also, there were rumors then that Sun Capital would break up the company's assets.

"Nobody expects Sun Capital to operate them as supermarkets in the long-term," David Livingston, a Milwaukee-based supermarket industry expert, told the Star Press at the time. "It doesn't make any sense, considering the overwhelming competition and the new owner's lack of history in the business."