Officials of American Safety Razor Co. of Verona, Va., refused yesterday to confirm or deny that they are negotiating the purchase of a giant food-processing facility from Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.
At the same time, A&P officials reached in Montvale, N.J., refused comment yesterday on published reports that the food chain plans to sell the giant facility at Horseheads, N.Y.
"We really have a 'no comment' position on that story," a spokesman for A&P said.
H. Nelson Lewis, A&P's vice president for industrial relations, had been quoted as saying the company had had several offers to buy the plant and that it was considering those offers.
However, the story apparently caught A&P officials off guard. The spokesman said that officials had been trying all day to reach Nelson, who was away on business.
Food industry sources had identified American Safety Razor as a leading contender to buy the giant Horseheads facility.
American Safety Razor is a privately held company that was spun off in 1977 by Philip Morris Inc. and sold to a group of employes. They have expanded its operations to several business segments.
Besides manufacturing shaving blades, American Safety Razor produces private-label products and surgical and industrial cutting edges. Last year it bought Schrafft Candy Co. from Gulf & Western Industries Inc. and acquired Barton's Candy Co., a publicly traded firm.
What use American Safety might make of the 1.5-million-square-foot Horseheads plant, if indeed it does buy it, is unknown. The facility is A&P's main manufacturing and processing plant for grocery products. The food chain operates smaller plants where it processes dairy products and detergents.