Great Atlantic May Sell Canadian Stores

Montvale, N.J., Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., owner of A&P supermarkets, has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to find a buyer for its Canadian grocery-store business, according to reports. The sale of the 236 Dominion and Food Basics stores in Ontario could raise more than $1 billion, sources familiar with the sale said. Potential buyers include both Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Sobey's Inc. and Montreal-based Metro Inc., Canada’s second- and third-largest supermarket chains. Canada’s biggest supermarket chain, Toronto’s Loblaw Cos., may also be interested in the purchase, according to published reports.

Montvale, N.J.-based Great Atlantic posted a loss of $75.3 million for its fiscal third quarter, the sixth straight quarterly loss. The sale of its Canadian grocery-store business could raise money to help pay down debt and refurbish stores to bolster future earnings.