WILLIAMSVILLE – Supermarket chain Tops Markets LLC filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, the latest regional grocery chain to look to restructure its balance sheet as consumers move to nontraditional food retailers.
In court papers, Chief Restructuring Officer Michael Buenzow said the 2007 purchase of the company and subsequent transactions by Morgan Stanley’s private equity arm “saddled the company with an unsustainable amount of debt on its balance sheet.”
In addition, he said the grocery store chain has also battled a Teamsters pension fund for more than four years over $180 million the union says Tops owes related to its purchase of a food wholesaler and a logistics business.
The company, which operates roughly 170 supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont under the Tops banner, will stay open during the bankruptcy case, the company said.
There are currently two Tops located in Jamestown, along with locations in Falconer, Frewsburg, Westfield, Mayville, Dunkirk and Silver Creek.