In a series of meetings facilitated by AWI/White Rose management and the Teamsters Warehouse Division, representatives from all six Teamster Local Unions that represent AWI/White Rose workers met with three prospective buyers of the business on Wednesday, October 1. The three interested parties are C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Bozzuto’s, Inc., and Supervalu (more on these companies below).
In these introductory meetings, the Teamster Locals, Warehouse Division, staff and bankruptcy counsel heard from all three entities about their interest in acquiring the AWI/White Rose assets and their intentions for the AWI/White Rose facilities. While all three expressed a desire to operate from the existing facilities going forward by hiring “substantially all the employees,” they expressed, to varying degrees and levels of specificity, a need to do so under different terms and conditions from your current contracts. The locals agree that all three entities need to provide written proposals so they can be evaluated before any decisions can be made about next steps. We will keep you informed of those next steps.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. is the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the United States, based on revenue which was approximately $21.5 billion in fiscal 2013. Currently, C&S serves about 5,000 stores from more than 50 locations in 15 states employing approximately 15,000 workers including 1,300 Teamsters in California, Maryland and Indiana. C&S is privately owned.
Bozzuto’s, Inc. is a full service wholesale distributor of food and household products to retailers in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania including a leading distributor to IGA supermarkets. Bozzuto’s has facilities in Cheshire and North Haven, Connecticut. None of Bozzuto’s existing operations are unionized. Bozzuto’s is privately owned.
Supervalu is a large publicly traded grocery retail and wholesale company. It had sales of $17 billion in 2013. Supervalu’s wholesale distribution business consists of 17 facilities distributing to over 1,800 stores. The Teamsters represent nearly 3,100 workers at more than a dozen Supervalu distribution centers.
There have been a few minor changes in the timeline of the bankruptcy process. The hearing on the Bid Procedures was pushed back from Tuesday, September 23 to Friday, October 3. Several parties filed objections to the proposed Bid Procedures including the Teamsters, the Unsecured Creditors Committee, and the United States Trustee, among others. We’ll update you early next week on the outcome of the hearing. As of now other milestone dates remain unchanged:
- October 22: Competing bids (i.e. bids by entities other than C&S) are due
- October 24: Auction takes place if competing bids have been submitted
- October 28: Hearing and decision on the motion to sell to the selected bidder
- November 3: If a sale order has NOT been entered, C&S has the right to terminate its proposed bid
Updates and other information on the bankruptcy can be found at the Teamsters’ AWI/White Rose Bankruptcy website.