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Marsh Supermarkets, one of the nation’s best known and most innovative independent retailers, reportedly is considering a sale of the Indianapolis-based company in the wake of yet another disappointing fiscal quarter.

Company CEO Don E. Marsh said that Merrill Lynch has been hired to “explore strategic alternatives.” Marsh said, “Our responsibility is to consider the best interests of our employees, the communities we serve and, above all, our shareholders. One of the strategic alternatives that we believe should be considered would be the possible sale of the company to the right party.”

The company, founded in 1931, has 70 Marsh grocery stores, 38 LoBill Foods stores, eight O'Malia Food Markets and 160 Village Pantry convenience stories in Indiana and western Ohio. Marsh reported a $3.4 million loss for the three-month period ending Oct. 15, compared to a profit of $1.3 million last year. Quarterly revenue increased almost five percent to $549.6 million.
KC's View:
This is a shame, though not unexpected in some quarters.

A financial analyst recently told us that even more of a problem than immediate lack of profitability is Marsh’s debt load – which will put enormous pressure on the company in the not-too-distant future.

We hope that the folks at Marsh can find a strategic alternative that doesn’t involve the sale of the company. It’d be shame for yet another independent voice to be quelled.