Keene-based C&S Wholesale Grocers is buying 12 Tops Markets stores in Vermont and New York.

As part of the merger of Tops Markets and Price Chopper/Market 32, the new company has to sell the 12 stores, as mandated by the Federal Trade Commission.

The 12 will be converted to Grand Union supermarkets, according to a news release issued Tuesday morning.

The Grand Union stores in New York will be in Cooperstown, Cortland, Norwich, Owego, Peru, Rome, Saranac Lake, Sherrill, Warrensburg, and two locations in Watertown. One store is in Rutland, Vt. GU Markets LLC, a C&S affiliate, will operate the stores.

The agreement is planned to close in the coming weeks and grand openings for the new Grand Union stores are planned for mid-January through mid-February next year, the release says.

“This is an important component of our growth and future success,” said C&S Executive Chairman Rick Cohen in the release. “The Grand Union stores will showcase C&S’s already successful retail strategies and be supported by our strong wholesale supply chain and programs to deliver solid retail performance.”

Molly Bolan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436 or mbolan@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @BolanMolly.