CARTERET, NJ-While Pathmark has emerged from bankruptcy with new ownership, flush with cash and its stock trading once again, another major supermarket chain continues to battle financial woes. If Grand Union can’t solve its problems, the implications would be significant for retail real estate in New Jersey–41 of the chain’s 217 stores are in the Garden State.

And Di Giorgio Corp., a privately-held distributor based in Carteret, NJ, has emerged as a leading contender to buy the troubled Grand Union and take it out of bankruptcy, according to published reports. Di Giorgio is a $1.4 billion company that also runs the gaming company, Park Place entertainment.

Grand Union Inc. has also replaced one of its financial advisors in its effort to find the right buyer. Consultant Nightingale & Associates of Stamford, CT has replaced Alvarez & Marsal Inc. on the company’s reorganization team, which is led by Merrill Lynch & Co. Grand Union has been in Chapter 11 twice in five years and Nasdaq delisted its stock in July. Its stock currently trades over-the-counter at less than 19 cents a share.

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