The Yucaipa Cos. on Tuesday completed its acquisition of 150 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores from Tesco PLC, salvaging most of the London-based retailer’s struggling U.S. grocery stores.
The deal was approved late Friday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey in Wilmington, Del. The acquisition is being financed by the London-based retailer with a $126 million loan, part of an agreement reached before Tesco put Fresh & Easy into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
“We are excited about acquiring the Fresh & Easy business,” Ron Burkle, managing partner of Los Angeles-based Yucaipa said in a statement. “We are building a great foundation and see an incredible opportunity to create a healthy convenient food experience.”
Yucaipa, a private investment firm, chose former 7-Eleven Inc. CEO James Keyes to operate the grocery chain as it emerges from bankruptcy. Founded in 2006, Fresh & Easy operates 167 grocery stores in California, Arizona and Nevada and a production facility in Riverside, Calif.
The Las Vegas area lost seven stores in the bankruptcy. They are: 4810 W. Ann Road, 317 N. Nellis Blvd., Boulder Highway and Russell Road, 6100 Vegas Drive, 6685 E. Lake Mead Blvd., 2950 E. Desert Inn Road and 10 N. Eastern Ave.
As of Tuesday, 19 Fresh & Easy stores are in operation in the Las Vegas and Henderson areas.
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