Tops managers to buy majority stake

11/14/2013 04:35:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Six top managers, including president and chief executive officer Frank Curci, are buying a stake in Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Friendly Markets from the investment firm that owns it.

Tops, primarily owned by Morgan Stanley through a buyout from Royal Ahold six years ago, has grown from 71 stores to 155 in Pennsylvania and New York over the past several years.

Management is buying stock of the company and will own all assets and liability, said spokeswoman Katie McKenna.

“Morgan Stanley Private Equity has been a very supportive partner to Tops Management for five-plus years,” McKenna said, in a statement to the Rochester, N.Y. Democrat & Chronicle. “This time period has been one of strong growth for Tops: we’ve doubled our number of stores, increased our geographic footprint and added new jobs in the markets we serve.”

In addition to Curci, the team buying tops includes:

  • Kevin Darrington, chief operating officer;
  • Richard Mills, chief financial officer;
  • John Persons, senior vice president of operations;
  • Jack Barrett senior vice president for human resources;
  • Lynne Burgess, senior vice president and general counsel.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Financial details were not disclosed.

Tops has had an aggressive growth strategy over the past several years, acquiring Penn Traffic and Grand Union stores, and launching its own fresh-focused banner Orchard Market in 2013. Steve Wright, director of produce and floral, was named the 2013 Retailer of the Year by Produce Retailer Magazine.



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