07/20/05 — Bids received for remaining Winn-Dixies

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Bids received for remaining Winn-Dixies

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on July 20, 2005 1:45 PM

Two Winn-Dixie stores in Wayne County were among those the bankrupt grocery chain received bids for this week.

The stores at Ashley Plaza on Berkeley Boulevard in Goldsboro and at the Neuse River Shopping Center on U.S. 117 south were among 102 stores put up at auction Monday and Tuesday in New York.

The names of the bidders on the two stores were not released.

The third Winn-Dixie store in Wayne County, at the Market Square Shopping Center on Wayne Memorial Drive, was sold earlier this month to BI-LO.

Winn-Dixie officials said the names of the buyers would not be released until the documents are filed with the bankruptcy court. All agreements are subject to court approval.

Earlier this month, Winn-Dixie announced it had reached a preliminary agreement for 79 stores, but the auction produced 23 additional sales, the company announced. The aggregate purchase price for the 102 stores is about $45.6 million, an increase of $6.9 million more than previously announced.

Peter Lynch, president and CEO of Winn-Dixie, said many of the stores have agreed to offer jobs to Winn-Dixie employees. Prior to the sale, Winn-Dixie said about 22,500 employees would lose their jobs as a result of Winn-Dixie's plan to close or sell 326 stores. Employees who do not find other jobs will be given severance packages.

Winn-Dixie, based is Jacksonville, Fla., also is seeking court authorization to conduct store-closing sales at the 224 stores that were not sold in the auction. The company would like to begin those sales on Aug. 1 and finish by mid-September.

Winn-Dixie will retain 587 of its 913 stores but will close out all operations in North Carolina.