July 25, 2013 9:50:55 AM
BIRMINGHAM -- Birmingham-based Belle Foods is selling its remaining 44 stores in three states as part of its bankruptcy case, company officials announced Wednesday.
Belle officials say they've reached an agreement on the sale as part of a financing deal with C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., the company's largest creditor.
Belle Foods has stores in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi operating under the names of Belle Foods, Food World, Piggly Wiggly and Southern Family.
The 44 stores up for sale are in addition to 13 stores the chain previously announced it was selling. Belle Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and the company had more than 2,800 employees at the time.
"At this point, this is the best way to serve our customers, preserve jobs for our employees and support our communities," Belle owner and president Bill White said in a statement. "We expect these stores to be sold as on-going operations and will work with any new owners to see that our people remain employed."
Belle Foods has 27 stores in Alabama, 14 in Georgia and three in Mississippi.