Central Grocers, Inc., announced on Monday that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Jewel Food Stores Inc., that would see Jewel-Osco purchase and serve as the stalking horse bidder — the initial bidder prior to auction — in a court-supervised sales process for 19 Strack & Van Til stores.

Jewel-Osco, a subsidiary of Albertsons Companies, LLC, will interview and extend offers of employment to employees of the stores that are part of the transaction.

Central Grocers, Strack & Van Til's parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month and is set to lay off nearly 1,300 employees from its Joliet, IL, warehouse and now-closed Ultra Foods stores.

The sale to Jewel-Osco is not finalized. If another bidder emerges, an auction will be held next month, according to a news release form Central Grocers.