Haggen reaches deal to sell remaining stores to Albertsons

By Jim Davis
The Herald Business Journal

Haggen Food & Pharmacy announced Friday evening that it had accepted Albertsons’ bid to acquire 29 core stores in Washington and Oregon including five in Whatcom County.

The Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons would pay $106 million for the stores, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The agreement still needs to gain bankruptcy-court approval.

It wasn’t clear Friday night whether Albertsons would try to run the remaining stores under the Haggen brand name or convert the stores to Albertsons and Safeways. Albertsons merged with Safeway last year in a $9.4 billion dollar merger.

As part of that deal, the Federal Trade Commission required Albertsons-Safeway to sell 168 stores, the vast majority of which the Bellingham-based Haggen purchased. Haggen grew from 2,000 employees with 18 stores in the Northwest to more than 10,000 employees and 164 stores up and down the West Coast.

It ran into problems right away. By summer, Haggen announced plans to close and sell stores, and by September, it had filed for bankruptcy. And that led to Friday night’s announcement that Albertsons would be purchasing the remaining Haggen stores.

Haggen also announced Friday that its seeking court approval for a new financing commitment from Albertsons. That agreement will help Haggen fund operations through the close of sale and pay for administration costs related to its bankruptcy case. A hearing is scheduled on March 29.

Albertsons did not buy three stores in the deal, one in Puyallup, another in Port Angeles and the third in Oregon City, Oregon. The company notified the state’s Employment Security Department that it would lay off 145 workers at the two Washington stores.

Haggen will ask the bankruptcy court to allow it to begin going-out-of-business sales for those stores.

Under the deal, Albertsons will purchase four stores in Bellingham, at 2814 Meridian, 1401 12th St., 2900 Woburn St., 210 36th St.,  and one in Ferndale, on 1815 Main St.

BBJ associate editor Emily Hamann contributed to this report.

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