Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Tuesday, the company warned it could close its remaining 44 locations if a buyer isn't located within 60 days. Marsh says bankruptcy proceedings will allow it to maintain normal business operations as it seeks a new owner.

The filing is with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware. Marsh officials this week also announced the grocery chain would retain Peter J. Solomon Co. as an investment advisor. The New York-based firm will market Marsh assets.

In a statement, Marsh Chief Executive Officer Tom O'Boyle says "while today's decision was extremely difficult, we believe this action is necessary to preserve the value of the business as we seek a sale. After reviewing every alternative, we concluded that Chapter 11 clearly provides the most effective and efficient means to ensure the best recovery for the Company's stakeholders."

Marsh says all stores will remain open and employees and suppliers will continue to be paid moving forward. It says the filing "permits daily operations to continue without interruption."

Marsh Supermarkets has been a staple for Hoosiers since its 1931 founding in Muncie.