Fishers-based Marsh Supermarkets has received offers for at least some of its remaining 44 stores “from numerous bidders,” the company said Wednesday evening, less than two hours after the bid deadline set by bankruptcy court.
“Qualifying bids have been received from numerous bidders,” Marsh said in a written statement. “The company, its advisers and the Creditors Committee are evaluating the bids.”
There was no further information with the statement.
A company spokesman had earlier declined to comment on whether any bids had arrived prior to the deadline.
The bankruptcy judge set a June 12 auction in case the chain received multiple bidders.
EARLIER STORY (5:40 p.m.)
No offers for Fishers-based Marsh Supermarkets' remaining 44 stores were made public Wednesday by the 5 p.m. bid deadline.
Delaware bankruptcy court Judge Brendan Shannon on May 30 had set the deadline, but his order also says Marsh “may extend the bid deadline without further order of the court, subject to providing notice to the consultation parties."
It's also possible Marsh received offers but they have not yet been submitted to the court.
A Marsh spokesman said at Wednesday's deadline that the company had no comment and was unsure “when—or if—we’ll be able to say something tonight.”
Marsh, which has been trying to find a buyer for months, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on May 11. The company, which had nearly 120 stores a decade ago, has been retrenching for years amid withering competition from Kroger, Meijer and other supermarket chains.
Marsh also was unable to line up a so-called stalking horse bidder by Monday’s deadline. Stalking horse bidders are initial bidders that receive favored treatment in return for making an opening offer for a company's assets.
If more than one bidder should emerge, they will square off at a June 12 auction.
Observers have said that myriad grocery chains likely are interested some of the stores—ranging from Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., which already is a powerhouse in the central Indiana market, to Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, which has only one grocery here.