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Report: A&P to be considering bankruptcy

A&P hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP to represent it in negotiations with creditors

Montvale, N.J. -- A report Friday said that Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. may file for bankruptcy in the coming days to restructure debt.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported that a filing to reorganize under court protection may come as soon as this weekend. A&P hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP to represent it in negotiations with creditors and in any Chapter 11 proceeding, according to the report.

The grocer has struggled to compete with discounters such as Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores, and has dropped its store counts over the decades from a once-high almost 16,000 stores in the 1930s to about 400 locations under its namesake banner as well as SuperFresh and Food Emporium. Its most recently quarterly report, representing the 13 weeks ended Sept. 11, showed a 7.1% drop in sales and losses doubling to $153.7 million.

CEO Sam Martin was hired away from OfficeMax in July to help lead a turnaround, replacing then-CEO Ron Marshall.

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