Gordy's Market, Lafayette

The Gordy’s Market location in the town of Lafayette, Chippewa County.

SARAH SEIFERT, Chippewa Herald

The winning bid for six Gordy’s Market stores, including the downtown Chippewa Falls location, was for $19.8 million, according to a document filed in Chippewa County Court on Thursday.

Grocery supplier Nash Finch Company had the highest bid at a Nov. 29 auction in Milwaukee. Nash Finch assigned the asset purchase agreement for the stores to Gordy’s Market, Inc. Jeff Schafer is listed is being one of the principals of Gordy’s Market, Inc. and of Gordy’s Entities. Members of the Schafer family have owned and operated Gordy’s since its inception in 1966.

The other stores included in the winning bid include Gordy’s locations on Lake Wissota (town of Lafayette), Cornell, Chetek, Ladysmith and Barron.

Approval of the sale of the six stores will be sought from Judge James Isaacson in a Chippewa County Court proceeding scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday.

At one time, Gordy’s Entities operated 26 full service grocery stores with locations stretching from Rice Lake to La Crosse. Most of those stores have been sold to other grocery operators. One exception is the Gordy’s Market store in Stanley, which has not been sold and is not included in the latest sale.

Nash Finch filed a lawsuit against Gordy’s Market, seeking $86 million, while Settler’s Bank of Madison is seeking $4.9 million. Attorney Michael Polsky of Milwaukee was appointed by the court as receiver in a Wisconsin Chapter 128 action, which is a voluntary debt consolidation plan.

Court document filed by Polsky said Nash Finch started the bidding for all six stores at $17 million. There were three registered bidders during four rounds of bidding. Other bidders included Great Lakes Foods, LLC and Skogen’s Foodliner, Festival Foods’ parent company.

Great Lakes Foods bid $1 million for the Cornell store, $2.1 million for the Ladysmith store, $2.1 million for the Chetek store and $900,000 for the store in Barron.

Nash Finch’s bids on the individual stores were $1.5 million for Cornell, $2.6 million for Ladysmith, another $2.6 million for Chetek and $1.4 million for the Barron store. No individual bids were recorded for the Gordy’s Market stores at 212 Bay St. in downtown Chippewa Falls nor the Lake Wissota location; however, Nash Finch’s overall bid for all six stores was $19.8 million.

Skogen’s Foodliner passed on bidding, according to the court document.

“The amount of the winning bid is in excess of the liquidation value of the assets. (Polsky) believes that the proposed sale described above in in the best interest of all creditors and parties-in-interest in this matter,” the document said.

Polsky is also asking the court for the authority to use the closing proceeds from the sale to pay real and personal property taxes; sale consultant The Food Partners, LLC; closing costs; and the rest of the money to Nash Finch.

CORRECTION: A court document listed the wrong purchase price for the stores. This story has been changed to reflect the correct purchase price.

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