Brown & Cole reaches settlement

Hope to have plans finalized this month


A settlement has been reached between parties involved in the Brown & Cole bankruptcy proceedings.

The settlement agreement between Associated Grocers, Inc. (AG) and a number of creditors and lenders was reached at a hearing at the Seattle Bankruptcy Court on Nov. 11, said Jay Kornfeld, an attorney for Brown & Cole Stores.

“The plan is moving forward exactly how we hoped it would and we’re very optimistic the plan will be approved and the company will continue out of bankruptcy by the first of the year,” Kornfeld said.

The settlement agreement between AG, a retailer-owned wholesaler, and Brown & Cole Stores provides for the Bellingham-based grocery store’s stock to be used to resolve the money owed to AG by Brown & Cole, he said.

Representatives from AG would not comment on the settlement as the final plan is still pending approval.

The next step in the process will be a hearing scheduled for Dec. 14 for the court to consider approval of the AG settlement agreement. A hearing before the Bankruptcy Court to approve the entire restructuring plan is scheduled for Dec. 20.

Brown & Cole declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2006. A Los Angeles-based investment company, Hancock Park Associates, is in negotiations to take over the majority shareholder status of Brown & Cole in a $40 million transaction that requires approval from the Bankruptcy Court.

The purchase would help the company exit Chapter 11 and would invest capital into refurbishing the company’s 20 remaining stores under the Cost Cutter and Food Pavilion names in Washington state.

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