CHIPPEWA FALLS — Food distributor Nash Finch is seeking to purchase five Gordy’s Market Inc. grocery stores for a total of $15.1 million.
Nash Finch was the lone company to attend an auction Wednesday in Milwaukee, where the company placed its bid, according to a document filed Thursday afternoon in Chippewa County Court. The company made a “credit bid” to acquire the stores.
Michael Polsky, the court-appointed receiver who is assisting in dividing up Gordy’s Market’s assets, wrote in the court filing that certain items were excluded from the sale, such as cash on deposit, equipment leased by American Financial Network and other leased equipment, vehicles, and real estate connected with the operation of fuel stations.
“As part of its credit bid, Nash Finch has agreed to release its lien in the GMI assets and consents to the sale of the GMI assets,” Polsky wrote.
Gordy’s Market and Nash Finch will return to Chippewa County Court today, where Judge James Isaacson will review and possibly approve the auction results, and he will consider any motions, such as a counterclaim filed this week by Gordy’s Market.
The five stores that were included in the auction were: downtown Chippewa Falls and on Lake Wissota, Cornell, Barron and Chetek. The five stores were sold together in one lot; there isn’t a separate price listed for each store.
A sixth Gordy’s Market store in Ladysmith was sold last month. Gordy’s Market Inc. still owns one store in Eau Claire on Clairemont Ave., but they are in negotiations to sell that location to Hansen’s IGA.
This is actually the second time in about 15 months that Nash Finch has purchased these stores. In December 2017, they purchased the six stores (not including the Eau Claire one) at an auction for $19.8 million, but they worked out an agreement to assign the ownership to Jeff Schafer and his family to operate the stores.
Nash Finch filed a lawsuit against Gordy’s Market for $46.2 million in December, contending that Gordy’s Market “has no excess cash to get caught up on its delinquent balance,” and the grocery chain is on the verge of insolvency.
In the two months since Polsky was appointed receiver, Nash Finch has provided another $3.2 million in inventory to the grocery chain to keep the shelves full, as of March 4, Polsky wrote in his filing Thursday.
Polsky has set a deadline of April 24 for any creditors of GMI to enter claims with the court if they see to participate in any dividends.
In 2017, there were 26 Gordy’s Market locations, but 20 of them were sold or closed by the end of that year.