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    Tops Markets Group Eyes Wilson Farms

    Total of 204 Ahold USA-owned locations at stake.

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A partnership controlled by members of the Nanula family, which has ties to Tops Markets that stretch back more than four decades, is in the running to acquire the Wilson Farms convenience store chain, sources told the Buffalo News.

    The Nanula partnership, which is one of several bidders seeking to buy the convenience store chain, also could include other investors who once had ties to Tops and other minority stakeholders, the sources said.

    At stake are 127 Wilson Farms store, 67 Sugar Creek stores and 10 free-standing Tops Xpress locations, which Ahold USA confirmed in January that it has been trying to sell. Tops Xpress outlets at Tops supermarkets locations would not be affected by the sale.

    Ahold, which is trying to get out of the convenience store business so it can focus on its core food operations and supermarkets, has hired Chicago-based William Blair and Co. to handle the sale. The convenience store operations employ about 2,100 people, including store employees, field specialists and operations support.

    Members of the Nanula family and Tops representatives could not be reached for comment.

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