Bi-Lo closing (copy)

The Bi-Lo supermarket on Shelmore Boulevard in Mount Pleasant recently closed. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

The parent company of Bi-Lo is selling four South Carolina stores to a rival chain as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.

Food Lion said Friday it has struck an agreement with Southeastern Grocers to acquire the supermarkets, which are in Columbia, Florence, Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in late May.

"We are so excited to add these four new locations to our network of nearly 70 stores serving the greater Myrtle Beach, Florence and Columbia areas," Meg Ham, president of Food Lion, said in a written statement. "We are part of the fabric of this community. We've been here in these towns and cities nourishing our neighbors and customers for nearly 40 years.”

The stores will continue to operate under the Bi-Lo name until the sale is finalized.

Food Lion is based in Salisbury, N.C., It has 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and mid-Atlantic states and more than 63,000 employees.

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Southeastern Grocers has been cutting back its brick-and-mortar footprint since filing for bankruptcy protection last month. 

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company announced plans in March to shutter  19 stores in South Carolina, including four Bi-Lo locations in the Charleston area, under a plan to lighten its debt load.

Southeastern Grocers also owns Winn-Dixie and Harveys. In all, the parent company is closing 94 underperforming supermarkets across the Southeast.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott