News


Safeway shareholders approve Albertsons merger

Pleasanton company to become part of Boise-based supermarket firm

In a move that could have far-reaching implications for Pleasanton, Safeway shareholders have voted to approve the acquisition of the Pleasanton-based supermarket chain by an affiliate of Albertsons, another national supermarket firm that has its corporate headquarters in Boise, Idaho.

The Safeway shares were bought by AB Acquisition, which owns the Albertsons chain and is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP.

The $9 billion deal transaction, first announced in March, is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

According to Safeway, 70% of the outstanding shares and 96% of the shares voted were in favor of the acquisition.

Shareholders also approved a non-binding advisory proposal to approve a merger-related compensation plan for Safeway's top-level executive officers, and they voted down two other measures, in line with recommendations by the board of directors: 90% said no to a proposal to label products containing genetically modified ingredients, and 88% voted against extending producer responsibility.

Pending any divestitures that might be required by the Federal Trade Commission, the merger with Safeway will give Albertsons close to 2,400 stores, including approximately 1,300 from Safeway, with total sales approaching $60 billion.

Safeway Inc. has been a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. Last year, the company operated 1,331 stores in the U.S. and had annual sales of $36.1 billion.

Safeway has had an 18-year presence in Pleasanton since 1996 and has been a major contributor to the city's employment and municipal tax base.

The company also is one of Pleasanton's largest employers, with approximately 2,600 employees between the local grocery stores and the headquarters operations. The company has a long history in the East Bay and was previously based in Oakland for many years.

"We understand that part of running a very successful enterprise means making a business decision that's best for the company," said City Manager Nelson Fialho when the transaction was first announced. "Given (Friday's) announcement of the sale of Safeway, it is too early to know what that means for Safeway, or for Pleasanton."

"It is our hope that Safeway, or a new version of the company, will remain an active member of the Pleasanton business community, and continue to be a place of employment for many of our residents."

The companies said they expect administrative cost savings, but don't expect to close any stores.

Under the acquisition agreement, Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards will become president and CEO of the combined company, while Bob Miller, the current CEO of Albertsons, will become executive chairman.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bammer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

This continues to kill me with the miss information that the media is reporting. First off, Albertsons did not buy Safeway. Cerebus, and investment company that owns 7 different banners throughout the states (including Albertsons) bought us. Albertsons currently is a loosing or close to loosing money and Cerebus is looking to bolster their grocery share. The offices in Boise are old and outdated while Safeway is a fresh new facility with updated systems. The media continues to paint this picture of how Albertsons is taking over which is not the case. Case in point, when Albertsons of Northern California sold to Savemart, the Albertsons facility in San Leandro was so old they just shut it down and sold the property to Kaiser. Cerebus needs Safeways infrastructure to complete in today's technology based world. Cerebus wouldn't come in a shut this down to move back to 1980's systems ... it doesn't make good business sense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MBkr
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:55 am

To Echo Bammer..... The news media reporters are so quick to "write" things to make it to press. They should instead to spend the time to provide accurate information and not the DRAMA based items they feel are news. Unfortunately in this new technology world the public only wants half the story, so they can "talk about it all day". This is why I seldom take anything the media says seriously. SAD!

Thank you yammer for putting some perspective into the discussion. Wonder if this reporter will dig into the topic more? Nah! The reporter would have to spend more than 20 minutes at it!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Deport Cholo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

Albertson's stores have been pits for decades. If Cerebus needed to bolster their operations, why didn't they keep the Safeway and Von's brands? I also wonder why they didn't keep the headquarters in Pleasanton, but the answer is likely the high cost living/housing here and the fact that California is one of the five worst states in the country for having a headquarters.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Safeway Shopper
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:42 am

Thanks for the perspective, Bammer. I love my Safeway and would not want to see it downgraded to an Albertsons or SaveMart. I'd have to take my shopping out of Pleasanton and up the 680 corridor if that were the case.

Before the Bernal store opened, I trekked to Dublin Safeway for my big grocery shopping trips, but still frequented Lucky's and Raley's in between for convenience. Since Bernal opened, I never go to those stores because they just don't measure up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kbenson
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:15 am

I already notice safeway going "south" the store on Bernal has only 1 checker and the rest of the staff leaves boxes of product in the isles, making it next to impossible to pass. They are not as friendly as the used to be.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by blam
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

I lived in Pleasanton, for many years. Folks remember Albertson's bought Lucky's and then changed the name back to Lucky's to try to gain market share, as the Albertson's logo was not good. However, the consistency of "Lucky's" is poor.
Safeway has clean stores and consistency. Who is Cerebus, anyway?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I have no problems with Safeway. The produce is fresh, the fruit excellent, dry products reasonably priced and the employees polite.

I will continue to shop at Safeway and I'm one happy customer.

i rest my case...

ps even when I sample nobody whines about it...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Maggie
a resident of Valencia
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I am not a fan of Albertson's - seems every time I went there I'd come out with an expired item. My bad for not checking but I should have to check! Safeway is one of the nicest markets I've shopped at regularly. Whatever they name it or whomever they merge with, I just hope it has nothing to do with legacy Albertson's!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Clem Fuddpucker
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I love my Wall Mart.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Jul 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Does anyone know how to find more information on this? I'm really following the labeling of GMO foods, and I'm surprised that Cerberus/Safeway voted against it at such a high majority. It seems like Pleasanton would be leading the way in this area. From the article, it seems like everyone's covering their butts, making a lot of money, and not moving forward.

"Shareholders also approved a non-binding advisory proposal to approve a merger-related compensation plan for Safeway's top-level executive officers, and they voted down two other measures, in line with recommendations by the board of directors: 90% said no to a proposal to label products containing genetically modified ingredients, and 88% voted against extending producer responsibility."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Supposedly, two sure fire ways to avoid GMO foods is to not buy processed foods and purchase "certified organic" only.

But, one must trust it is truly "organic".

Example: If you wish to purchase Whole Wheat Bread, if the label does not state 100% whole wheat, it probably isn't.

How does one determine it is "certified Organic"?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Whata Crock
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:58 am

So much of "organic food" is just a marketing scam.

The term "organic" has been bastardized. Here is the definition of organic:
Adjective:
- noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds of carbon.
Noun
- a substance, as a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal or vegetable origin.

Organic has nothing to do with "pure", "better for you", "pesticide free" or "better quality". Manure is organic but you probably don't not want to eat it. That includes the feces that Gomers and animals impart to your produce along the path from field to you table. There are also a number of poisons and pesticides that are organic.

Next is the "non-genetically-modified" craziness. You have been eating genetically modified food your entire life, as new varieties of plants have been developed for the last century (not just the last few years). Also, don't forget that plants have been genetically modifying themselves since the beginning, as have humans.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Avila
on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

There are strict rules and regulations for the production of organic foods. Ask Target about that. Now, some old timers who have been passed up by the world might not want to give a hoot. I remember there were kids in our neighborhood when I was growing up who loved to inhale bus and car exhaust fumes from the backs of running vehicles. We called them numbskulls. I'm sure a few of them are still with us, don't ya think Whata Crock?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:06 am

Teresa,

I have no problem favoring foods or products where scientific evidence shows a benefit -- eating more fruits and vegetables rather than beef, for example. I also have no problem avoiding products where scientific evidence shows a clear danger, like tobacco.

That said, I've seen no credible scientific evidence that foods produced using gene splicing (aka GMO), is in any way hazardous to ones health. There is simply no scientific evidence of that, and every credible scientific organization that has studied GMO foods has found no evidence of hazard.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:15 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Teresa probably never had her kids immunized either, because everyone knows that the govt is putting additives in the immunization drugs that cause kids to drive their parents nuts. Better to get sick and endanger other people because you believe the hype, much like the GMO and 'organic' marketing blitz.
She'd rather take the word of people like Jenny McCarthy that people with common sense and scientific data to back them up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Avila
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

Well, John, you must be looking in the wrong places. In order to learn a little bit about GMO's you'll have to first get your body upright, head up where you can breathe, and then look at the thousands of internet sites that show scientific pronouncement re. GMO's and health risks.

I guess what you mean by "credible scientific evidence" is that tests must first be performed on humans, right? When I see scientific studies that show animals' immune systems and reproductive abilities being compromised by GMO's, well, I guess that's evidence enough for me. People like yourself I guess need more than that. I'll not comment on what kind of parent you must be; but then I suppose that doesn't apply here, as you sound like someone who is very, very alone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Avila
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:21 am

[Removed because it is disrespectful and irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Annie Mallover
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

Since we're into labeling in this thread, folks who care about their food might also look for the "Certified Humanely Raised and Handled" label: Web Link It's a non-governmental organization that audits producers for the quality of their animal husbandry practices. If you don't find the label -- ask for it!

Not perfect, but it is a very meaningful upgrade, at a price that many folks are pleased to pay. If you don't see the label, you may assume the worst of industrial ag and the abject cruelty of its routine practices. I mean, we're all going to die, but that fact does not excuse cruel treatment of anyone while they're alive.

Your steak did not grow in shrink-wrap.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

Safeway is horrible. Their customer service stinks, the employees all act like they are "entitled" to be there, and have you noticed they are slowly driving brands out and replacing them with their own? Since Gene's has been under new ownership, I love shopping there (even though I pay a little more) because the butchers know you by name, they actually have conversations with you, and they suggest different recipes which is such a refreshing change from having to pull teeth to get service at Safeway. This doesn't phase me much since I don't event shop there anymore!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 29, 2014 at 11:50 am

[Removed because it is disrespectful and irrelevant]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:13 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Looks like cholo and Teresa have some issue to work out. Apparently, that won't be happening here.
Just to follow up on the bleeding hearts that have never hunted for food or somehow think that 'humanely killing' their dinner is better than having a large, well regulated corporation perform this service, you really need to get a grip. As soon as you finished your tour of the 'humanely executed' people food, they used the same method to kill your dinner. You may be feeling better about your self righteous decision, but in reality, you are just another pawn of some clever marketing.
Enjoy your chicken.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Jul 31, 2014 at 7:21 am

Citizen Paine is a registered user.

Tom Cushing here -- CP lets me use his identity occasionally.

Lib, I don't think you read Annie's post very well. The biggest part of "Humanely Raised and Handled," by far and away, is the 'Raised' part. (There ARE standards for their moment of death, because despite your favored myth, slaughterhouses often mess it up otherwise -- like 5-10% of the time if left to their own unwatched devices.)

However, the animals whose products carry that label were raised as Animals, not inventory. They were not subjected to feedlot conditions so unhealthy that they have to heavily dosed with antibiotics just to avoid disease outbreak (75% of antibiotics are fed to food animals, preventively), or fattened on feed, like corn, that they can't digest -- it sickens them and generates fat (err "marbling" is the marketing term -- clever as a heart attack!), or fed the remnants of other cows who went before them.

There's a concept called "telos" that is "what makes fish gotta swim and bird gotta fly" -- to express their natures. Humanely raised food animals are allowed their telos while they live. That matters to the values of many, many people who stop to think about it.

Now, you may choose to be a stooge of your favorite global grocery conglomerate -- they would prefer that you and they Not have to think about it. But if you do, and let them know, then they will eventually respond with that option out of their own self-interest in giving customers what they want.

You'll never meet the animal you helped not to suffer, but one of the things we humans pride ourselves in is having the ability to understand abstract concepts. You might consider flexing those mental muscles.


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