US grocery distributor Fleming has completed the sale of 17 Food4Less stores to Save Mart Supermarkets.

Fleming, which recently agreed to end its contract with its biggest customer Kmart, is to use the proceeds from the sale, US$82m in cash, to reduce debt.

Kmart, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, accounted for around $3.3bn of Fleming’s $15.5m in 2002 sales.

Fleming plans to sell another 11 Food4Less stores to Save Mart and expects two of these sales to be completed this quarter, reported Dow Jones News Service.