A large debt load is resulting in a string of news reports speculating about the future of Southeastern Grocers, which is headquartered in Jacksonville and operates Winn-Dixie and Harveys on the First Coast.
Grocery Headquarters, a supermarket trade website, reports Southeastern Grocers is negotiating with lenders over refinancing $1 billion in debt, writing that could result in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.
Bloomberg reports that by “some accounts, Bi-Lo is close to default, putting in jeopardy about $1 billion of debt and 50,000 jobs at Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Fresco y Mas and its namesake stores.”
Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo completed their merger in 2012 to form Bi-Lo Holding, which became known as Southeastern Grocers.
The speculation surrounding a possible bankruptcy filing comes after Moody’s downgraded the company as an investment earlier this month, writing, "The high refinancing risk due to the company's significant debt maturities in 2018 and 2019 is a cause for concern as the current capital structure is unsustainable.”
The company operates Winn-Dixie and Harveys on the First Coast along with Bi-Lo and Fresco y Más in other markets.
The company employs more than 50,000 people in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina.