Organic grocery store chain Earth Fare filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, this week. According to The Wall Street Journal, the grocer listed liabilities of $100 million to $500 million.
"Earth Fare has been proud to serve the natural and organic grocery market, and the decision to begin the process of closing our stores was not entered into lightly. We'd like to thank our Team Members for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers, and our vendors and suppliers for their partnership," the company said in a statement.
As part of its filing, Earth Fare plans to sell its assets, which includes over 50 stores spanning across 10 Southeast, mid-Atlantic, and Midwest states.
"While many of these initiatives improved the business, continued challenges in the retail industry impeded the company's progress as well as its ability to refinance its debt. As a result, Earth Fare is not in a financial position to continue to operate on a go-forward basis. As such, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to commence inventory liquidation sales while we continue to engage in a process to find potential suitors for our stores," Earth Fare added in its statement.
The organic grocer was founded in 1975. In 2012, Oak Hill Capital bought a majority stake from private-equity firm Monitor Clipper Partners. This deal valued Earth Fare at about $300 million. Today, Oak Hill owns 70 percent of the company while Monitor Clipper owns 19 percent.
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