Fleming to Shut Three Divisions

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Fleming to Shut Three Divisions

DALLAS -- Convenience store and supermarket distributor Fleming Cos. Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in April, on Friday said it is closing three wholesale divisions and is exploring the possible sale of its grocery wholesale business after receiving interest from potential and strategic buyers.

As part of plans to focus on its core distribution assets, the Lewisville-based company has decided to discontinue operations at grocery wholesale divisions in Geneva, Ala.; Lafayette, La.; and Superior, Wis., by the end of July, the Dallas Business Journal reported.

Fleming said it will assist affected retail customers in their transfer to new suppliers. The company plans to immediately begin transferring inventory from the closing divisions to other Fleming wholesale distribution facilities. Fleming said its San Francisco-based Core-Mark International Inc. convenience subsidiary will not be affected by the closures.

"To further concentrate resources on restoring high levels of customer service at core divisions, the company will rationalize its grocery wholesale business by focusing on its most profitable units and closing selected facilities, where appropriate," Fleming said in press release.

Fleming said it plans to continue to improve operations at its core grocery wholesale and separate Core-Mark unit, "while simultaneously exploring strategic sale opportunities in response to a number of inquiries from potential buyers."

The distributor said it also has received "multiple expressions of interest from potential financial and strategic buyers of Core-Mark and is currently assessing these alternative. In addition, Fleming said it has about $200 million of negotiated vendor credit lines, which is expected to help further bolster operations.