NOBULL: Albertson’s, Safeway to merge

Albertson’s, Safeway to merge

By Lisa M. Keefe on 3/7/2014

Safeway Inc. has agreed to be acquired by the investor group that owns Albertsons, and be merged with the latter supermarket chain, the companies said in a press release. The combination will create the country’s second-largest dedicated supermarket chain, behind Kroger (and not counting Wal-Mart).

The merged company will be owned by AB Acquisition, which is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP, at the head of an investor group that also includes Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners LP and Schottenstein Stores Corp.

As a result of the merger, Safeway shareholders are expected to receive $32.50 per share. Including other actions that the Safeway board has approved, including the sale of non-core assets, the total to be returned to Safeway shareholders is expected to be about $40 per share, the company said.

The merger will create a network of more than 2,400 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 20 manufacturing plants with more than 250,000 employees. No store closures are expected as a result of this transaction. Bob Miller, Albertsons’ current CEO, will become executive chairman. Robert Edwards, Safeway’s current president and CEO, will hold the same titles of the combined company.

Banners will include Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Albertsons, ACME, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s, Star Market, Super Saver, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos.

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.