(Dec. 4) The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. and Pathmark Stores Inc., have agreed to sell six stores in New York in order to earn the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of A&P’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Pathmark.

A&P said in a news release that Bethpage, N.Y.-based King Kullen Grocery Co. will acquire five Staten Island stores — four of A&P’s Waldbaum locations and one Pathmark store — while Stop & Shop Cos. Inc., Boston, will acquire a Waldbaum’s on Long Island.

Montvale, N.J.-based A&P said the six divested stores have annual sales of $149 million.

The retailer announced Nov. 26 that it had sold its 11.7 million shares in Montreal-based Metro Inc. for $347 million to help finance the acquisition of Carteret, N.J.-based Pathmark.

However, the FTC issued a challenge to A&P’s acquisition of Pathmark on Nov. 27, saying shoppers in Long Island and Staten Island “likely would face higher prices and lower levels of service” if the stores were controlled by one chain.

The sale of those six stores clears the way for A&P to move forward. It also gives King Kullen 51 stores, according to Newsday.

According to the FTC, A&P operates 316 stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., under the A&P, A&P Super Foodmart, Food Basics, Food Emporium, Super Fresh and Waldbaum’s banners. Pathmark has 141 locations in Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Pathmark said in a news release that when the merger is completed its stockholders will receive $9 for each Pathmark share and 0.12963 shares of A&P.