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Tops Markets US enters bankruptcy protection

US grocery chain Tops Markets has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company says the process will not affect store operations but will enable it to pursue a financial restructure to eliminate “a substantial portion of debt” from its balance sheet and ensure its long-term survival.

“Tops has built strong market share and our stores continue to distinguish themselves by offering quality products at affordable prices with superior customer service,” said CEO Frank Curci in a statement.

“We believe the financing that we received from our noteholders is a vote of confidence in our business.

Our operations are strong and we have an outstanding network of stores and a talented team to support them. We are now undertaking a financial restructuring, through which we expect to substantially reduce our debt and achieve long-term financial flexibility. This will enable us to invest further in our stores, create an even more exceptional shopping experience for our customers and compete more effectively in today’s highly competitive and evolving market.”

Tops Markets, based in Williamsville, New York, operates 178 stores in its home state, Pennsylvania and Vermont, and employs 15,000 people. The company recently received a $140 million loan from the Bank of America and a commitment for a further US$125 million to cover debtor financing.

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