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The efforts by D’Agostino’s Supermarkets to acquire Kings Super Markets in New Jersey from Marks & Spencer Group for $160 million have collapsed, apparently because New York-based D’Agostino’s was unable to secure the financing it needed in tough capital markets.

M&S has placed the chain back on the market; Kings was first put up for sale some 20 months ago.

Among the likely bidders: Gristedes, which once had an exclusive window for negotiating to buy Kings, but also was unable to close the deal. Gristedes has said that it would be interested in reopening talks with M&S if the D’Agostino’s sale couldn’t be worked out, and that it would open its own stores in New Jersey if the sale were completed.

M&S Chairman Luc Vandevelde has said that if an appropriate buyer cannot be found, the company could decide to hold onto King’s.
KC's View:
It is hard to imagine that Kings’ price is going up through all this; we wonder what the next bid for the company will be.

We feel the worst for the folks who current work at Kings. Those folks must find it hard to get motivated for an uncertain future…, which is almost certainly going to affect their dealings with customers.

Maybe M&S will get lucky and some new bidders will emerge that won’t face the same issues as smaller companies like D’Agostino’s and Gristedes.