Morgan Stanley Private Equity will acquire Tops Markets LLC from Koninklijke Ahold NV for $310 million. Tops operates under the banners of Tops Markets and Martin’s Super Food Stores and consists of 71 company-owned and five franchise supermarket grocery stores in western New York, midstate New York, and northwestern Pennsylvania. Tops employs more than 10,000 associates. This acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2007.
The equity firm will continue operating all the stores as an ongoing grocery store chain. All employees, field staff, and Williamsville NY-based corporate office staff will be retained.
Tops was originally founded as a neighborhood grocery chain in the early 1960s in Buffalo NY. In 1991, Ahold acquired Tops and centralized the finance, information technology, and merchandising into Carlisle PA-based Giant Carlisle in 2003. Today, Tops operates 41 stores and five franchises in the Buffalo area, 20 stores in the Rochester NY area, and 10 stores in midstate New York.