Former Tark's owners could feel an impact from Ray's bankruptcy

Not long after Ray's bought Tark's Market in Talent, the company declared bankruptcy. How does this affect the prior owners of Tark's?

Are they considered another creditor and are not going to get the full sales price? Did Ray's take out a mortgage, and did Tark's already receive all their money? If Ray's owes them money and they don't agree to the terms of the bankruptcy, can they get the market back?

It wouldn't seem fair if they owe the family money, then declare bankruptcy, then only have to pay them 20 cents on the dollar.

— Michael D., via email

There are at least four questions here — whew.

Before answering them, for the readers who may not be aware, Brookings-based C&K Markets, the parent company of Ray's Food Place, filed for Chapter 11 court protection last November. That was the first step in a restructuring process that led to the sale of the company's pharmacies and the closure or sale of about a third of its retail storefronts in Oregon and California.

C&K Market acquired Tark's in August of 2012, about 15 months before the bankruptcy filing. According to court filings, C&K Market owed creditors well over $100 million, including $593,000 to former Tark's owners Ron and Sue Ridgway.

As reported earlier, creditors such as the Ridgways don't have the same standing as banks and financial institutions, which make sure they aren't aced out when it comes to settlement dollars.

Most of those creditors figured to get a few cents on the dollar, once a bankruptcy court judge signs off on the matter.

We tried without success to track down the Ridgways, but it would be possible for them to pursue additional legal action. That could take years, and the Ridgways said they were ready for another calling after several years of running the market in Talent.

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