Grocery store chain A&P files for bankruptcy again by Reuters @FortuneMagazine July 20, 2015, 7:11 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Storied supermarket chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co Inc, better known as A&P, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in five years and said it was in discussions with buyers for some of its stores. The 156-year-old company has hired Evercore Partners, an investment bank that specializes in selling assets. A&P listed assets and liabilities each of more than $1 billion in its bankruptcy filing late Sunday. The company said was in talks with Acme Markets Inc, owner of Safeway and Albertsons grocery stores, Shop & Shop Supermarket Co LLC and Key Food Stores Co-operative Inc to buy its assets. A&P has lined up buyers for 120 of its 296 stores with total expected proceeds of about $600 million, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. The company, which also owns Best Cellars, Pathmark and Superfresh stores, has been unable to stand up to behemoths such as Wal-Mart Stores WMT and Costco Wholesale COST who entice customers with big discounts. At the same time, wealthier shoppers have been lured away by higher-end stores such as Whole Foods Market Inc. A&P has received debtor-in-possession financing of $100 million from Fortress Credit Corp, court documents show. The Montvale, New Jersey-based company employs about 34,000, according to its website. A&P, which in its heyday in the early 20th century operated over 15,000 stores, first filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, re-emerging two years later as a private company after obtaining financing from investors including Goldman Sachs and an affiliate of billionaire Ron Burkle. The company was founded as a mail order business in 1859 by tea and spice merchants George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman. In the same year, it opened its first store-warehouse operation in New York City, according to A&P’s website. The case is in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, Case No: 15-23007.