C&S Wholesale Grocers has entered into an agreement with Associated Wholesalers Inc. (AWI) that would make C&S the "stalking horse" bidder in an upcoming bankruptcy auction. AWI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. C&S's offer is subject to offers by other interested parties.
C&S is the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. The company supplies independent supermarkets, chain stores and institutions with over 95,000 different products.
AWI is a cooperative food distributor that services convenience stores and supermarkets, and offers its clients insurance programs, computer systems, advertising services, store development assistance, equipment, and a number of other business services.
AWI had announced earlier this year that it would try to sell its White Rose subsidiary, but later said it was in negotiations to sell the entire company.
"The addition of AWI and White Rose would expand C&S's footprint and enhance our significant capabilities in servicing independent grocers," said C&S Chairman and CEO Rick Cohen.