The corporate parent of supermarket chain Winn-Dixie may file for bankruptcy as soon as March.
Bloomberg also reported that the Winn-Dixie’s corporate parent Bi-Lo LLC plans to close nearly 200 of the supermarket chain’s locations either before or after filing for bankruptcy.
In previous corporate incarnations, the Winn-Dixie business declared bankruptcy in 2009 and 2005, and Bi-Lo still may engineer a debt restructuring that would preclude a third bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reported.
Bi-Lo is struggling to repay more than $1 billion of debt in connection with its 2005 acquisition of Lone Star Funds. Bi-Lo and its creditors have discussed a potential swap of debt for equity and asset sales.
The supermarket business has become more competitive as Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers vie for grocery sales along with online retailer Amazon, which bought the Whole Foods supermarket chain last year.
A representative of Southeastern Grocers, the Jacksonville-based parent company of Bi-Lo, did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.