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      Tops agrees to buy 20 Grand Union supermarkets

      Upstate New York-based Tops Friendly Markets says it has agreed to acquire 20 Grand Union stores and one Bryant's supermarket from GU Markets, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers.

      Executives at Tops say Thursday that the stores in New York and Vermont will continue to operate under their current names and with the 600 existing employees.

      Terms of the agreement aren't being disclosed.

      C&S Executive Vice President Michael Newbold says the deal will allow Tops to strengthen its retail network and Keene, N.H.-based C&S to focus on its wholesale customers.

      The sale is expected to close by this fall.

      The acquisition will bring to 153 the number of stores operated by Tops, which is headquartered in suburban Buffalo.