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    Hess, Getty Purchases of DB Marts Await Approval from Judge

    Companies bought 20 stores for $18 million, 35 stores for $24.8 million, respectively.

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Amerada Hess Corp. and Getty Properties Corp. were among the winning bidders for the stores of the DB Mart chain, according to documents filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The sales must now be approved by a bankruptcy court judge in order to go through, reported the Providence Journal.

    Last week, DB Cos. reached tentative agreements to sell its chain of 148 DB Mart convenience stores and gas stations for $71 million. The Pawtucket-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, put its stores up for auction on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.

    Woodbridge, N.J.-based Amerada Hess Corp. bought 20 DB Marts for $18 million, while East Meadow, N.Y.-based Getty Properties Corp. bought 35 stores for $24.8 million.

    An individual named Naeem Khalid also purchased 24 locations, while a firm called Pump In Market Inc. picked up six sites. Bankruptcy records did not state the headquarters city of either buyer. The rest of the locations went in singles or small groupings to about 50 individual bidders.

    DB Cos. said it was pleased with the outcome of the sale. "The results have been nothing short of spectacular," the attorneys for the company wrote in a document filed yesterday at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

    The company said in court filings that it has been struggling to compete against larger chains and that it faced little choice but to liquidate its assets. It had approximately 570 employees and sales of $172.1 million in 2003, up 7.4 percent from 2002. It had an operating loss of about $3.1 million last year, the company said in the filings. It has liabilities totaling $65 million.

    The pending sales agreements can close only if the deals are approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court. A hearing is scheduled for today in Delaware before Judge Peter J. Walsh, who is overseeing the DB Cos. proceeding.

    DB Cos. received more than 750 purchase offers on its stores, it said in a statement posted on the Web site of Matrix Capital Markets Group, the Baltimore firm that handled the auction.

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