After denying liquidation Fairway declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will sell stores

Fairway Market filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in four years Thursday as it announced plans to sell its supermarkets.

The beloved Big Apple grocer said it has reached a deal to sell up to five New York City stores and its distribution center for about $70 million to Village Super Market, the parent company of the ShopRite chain.

Nevertheless, in a bankruptcy filing late Wednesday, the 87-year-old supermarket didn’t rule out a liquidation as it scrambles to sell assets.

“The timely sale of substantially all of the debtors’ assets … is the best way to avoid a fire-sale liquidation,” the company said in the filing. “Liquidation would be a worst-case scenario for all of the debtors’ economic stakeholders, including for thousands of Fairway employees.”

The deal includes Fairway’s flagship Upper West Side store at 2131 Broadway along with its Harlem, Chelsea, Kips Bay and Upper East Side locations, court records show. Village Super Market’s offer is a stalking-horse bid, meaning it would be the starting price for the stores in an auction.

Fairway will continue to negotiate sales for the rest of its 14 stores in a court-supervised process as it goes through Chapter 11, the company said in a news release. Fairway plans to continue doing business at its markets during the proceedings.

“After careful consideration of all alternatives, we have concluded that a court-supervised sale process is the best way to meet our objectives of preserving as many jobs as possible, maximizing value for our stakeholders, and positioning Fairway for long term success under new ownership,” Fairway CEO Abel Porter said in a statement.

The early-morning bankruptcy filing came the day after Fairway denied The Post’s Tuesday report that it was preparing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation that would shutter all of its stores, including its flagship at Broadway and West 74th Street.

Fairway previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016 after reaching a deal with lenders to cut roughly $140 million in debt.

Problems started for the chain — whose tagline is “Like no other market” — in 2007, when its founding Glickberg family sold an 80 percent stake to private equity firm Sterling Investment. The company’s ownership is now led by Goldman Sachs Group and Brigade Capital Management.

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