In a proposed settlement agreement filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh, grocery retailer Giant Eagle Inc. could end up with beverage firm Le-Nature's Inc.'s blow molding assets in Latrobe, Pa.
It's the latest turn in the saga that has played out for nearly a year after Le-Nature's filed for bankruptcy protection.
Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group Inc. bid $19 million and will get the plant under the settlement agreement, but with the caveat it will sell the plant to Giant Eagle.
Chapter 11 trustee R. Todd Neilson and Le-Nature's creditors had opposed a sale to Giant Eagle. But according to court documents filed Sept. 12, Neilson has asked Judge Bruce McCullough to approve the arrangement to avoid a protracted legal battle with Giant Eagle.
Under the agreement, Neilson would drop his objections to Cadbury Schweppes selling the plant to Giant Eagle and would not pursue damages from the supermarket chain.
``The trustee is currently incurring costs of maintaining the property, including payroll and other related costs that will continue until there is finality regarding the sale,'' Neilson wrote in a court document.
``In addition, all parties desire to resolve this matter before fees and expenses are incurred in connection with any appeal of the sale amendment order or prosecution of any claims against Giant Eagle.''
The agreement calls on Giant Eagle to pay Le-Nature's creditors $2.3 million, and to forego a plan to appeal a judge's order that it forfeit a $2 million deposit. In addition, Giant Eagle will have to pay $89,000 to relocate a sewer line at the plant.
The hearing on the settlement agreement is scheduled to take place Sept. 25.