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Report: Grocers Bi-Lo, Tops Friendly Markets prepping bankruptcy filings

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Report: Grocers Bi-Lo, Tops Friendly Markets prepping bankruptcy filings

Winn-Dixie parent BI-LO LLC and the owner of Tops Friendly Markets are preparing to file for bankruptcy in the near future, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Bi-Lo, which has more than $1 billion in debt as a result of its 2005 buyout by Lone Star Funds, plans to close nearly 200 stores before or after it files for bankruptcy protection, which could come in March, according to the report. Bi-Lo previously went through bankruptcy in 2005 and 2009.

Meanwhile, Tops Friendly Markets, based in Williamsville, N.Y., could file for bankruptcy within the month, Bloomberg reported. Tops is also facing a large debt burden following buyouts from Morgan Stanley in 2007 and then company management in 2013, according to the report.

Bi-Lo parent Southeastern Grocers LLC did not immediately respond to Bloomberg's request for comment, while Lone Star and Tops did not comment.