Last-Minute Suitor Sways Piccadilly

(Baton Rouge-AP) -- Yucapia Companies, a Los Angeles-based equity firm that specializes in supermarket chains, has won an auction to buy the names, restaurants and assets of Piccadilly Cafeterias for 80 million dollars.

The last-minute suitor dislodged the previously announced buyer, a partnership of TruFoods, the operator of Wall Street Deli and Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips, and HIG Capital, a private venture capital firm. That partnership had originally bid 54-million dollars. The bid still has to win approval of a federal bankruptcy judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Piccadilly filed for bankruptcy protection on October 29th after being plagued by declining sales and costs from its acquisition several years ago of Morrison's Restaurants. Piccadilly operates 145 cafeterias in 15 Southern and mid-Atlantic states.