Prospective Buyer of A&P's Farmer Jack Nixes Deal

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A management team interested in purchasing all of the 66 Michigan-area Farmer Jack stores from the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. here has reportedly dropped its plans to pursue the deal after reviewing market conditions.

The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 876, which represents employees at the Farmer Jack stores, said the management team changed its plans after a review conducted by a consulting firm found that about 40 percent of the stores were unprofitable, with the remainder only marginally profitable.

The union told Reuters it believed the management team was the only group that was interested in purchasing the whole chain.

A&P said late last month it was in talks with potential bidders about the sale of Farmer Jack, which has long struggled in a financially depressed market. Concurrently A&P is growing its Northeast core business through a recently announced merger with fellow New Jersey-based grocer Pathmark Stores, Inc.
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