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The Seattle Times reports this morning that Michael Teel, grandson of the founder of Raley’s and the former CEO of that California chain, has partnered with an investment banker named Michael Ashker to buy five of six Larry’s Markets in the Seattle area for $5.5 million. The five stores are Redmond, Queen Anne, Bellevue, Kirkland and Oak Tree in North Seattle; the Tukwila store remains for sale.

Ashker tells the Times, “They have great locations and a great employee base, and the basics are still there. We've just got to upgrade it and make ourselves more competitive in the local market.”

According to the paper, Teel has a house near Seattle, lived in the area during the 1980s while attending school and working there.

“It's a great fit," Larry's CEO Mark McKinney tells the paper. "They have a strong background in the grocery business and they're committed to local, natural and organic products. It's exactly what we wanted to be able to do."

The deal is not finalized, since other companies have a right to bid on the stores until August 18. If the deal goes through, it is expected to close on September 1.
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