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Haggen seeks buyer for West Linn store, others

The Haggen grocery chain is moving forward with its plans to offer the West Linn and several other Oregon stores for auction, part of a series of moves to help the corporation remain solvent after a disastrous expansion effort last year.

The company filed a notice Nov. 6 of stores included in an auction this week. The Oregon stores — including Tualatin, Tigard, Clackamas, West Linn, Beaverton, Milwaukie and Sherwood — in question were scheduled for auction today.

“The debtors (Haggen) have decided, in their business judgment, to sell all or substantially all of the assets — which collectively represent the debtors’ most valuable store locations — in order to further maximize recoveries to the debtors estates, their creditors and all parties in interest,” according to the court document.

The majority of the stores have no reserve price set but the company is not required to accept any offer. Because of the company's bankruptcy, Haggen needs court approval of the sales. The court will consider the request Dec. 4.

Outside the Portland metro area Albertsons has expressed interest in buying back some Haggen stores.

In March, Haggen moved into the former Albertsons store on Blankenship Road in West Linn as part of a purchase by the Bellingham, Washington-based company of 146 former Albertsons/Safeway stores in the West.

While initially the company stated its intentions of keeping the strongest-performing stores — what it terms the "core" stores — while selling the rest, the option of selling the core stores if the price was right was raised as the process continued.

The closures and sales are a part of the company's "rightsizing" effort after filing bankruptcy. Lake Oswego's Haggen market has not been included in any of the closure or auction notices and a Haggen's spokesman would not comment when asked if Lake Oswego would soon join the rest of the stores on the auction block.