The Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop Supermarket Company announced today [Thursday] that it has entered into a letter of intent with representatives of the creditors of Big V Supermarkets to purchase 27 of the stores and other assets of the company for US$255m.

Stop & Shop and the creditors intend to commence negotiations to enter into a definitive purchase agreement and seek Bankruptcy Court permission for consideration of the transaction. At this time, no assurances can be given that the parties will reach a definitive agreement or that, if an agreement is reached, the Bankruptcy Court will allow it to proceed. If the Bankruptcy Court allows the agreement to proceed, regulatory approvals would be required.

Big V operates 31 supermarkets in the Hudson Valley in New York as Shop Rite Supermarkets. Big V filed for bankruptcy in November 2000. Earlier this week, Big V entered into an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets to the Wakefern Food Cooperative. The Wakefern agreement is subject to the review and approval of Big V’s creditors and, ultimately, with the Bankruptcy Court.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company currently operates 321 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, and employs more than 56,000 associates.

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