Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc. and Boise-headquartered Albertsons announced Friday that they have entered into agreements, subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission, to sell 168 stores across eight states to four buyers.
Associated Food Stores will purchase eight stores in Montana and Wyoming; Associated Wholesale Grocers/Minyards will purchase 12 stores in Texas; SUPERVALU will purchase two stores in Washington State, and Haggen will purchase 146 stores across Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Haggen is acquiring 32 Safeway-owned Vons stores in southern California, Nevada and Arizona, as well as 12 Safeway-branded stores in Oregon and Washington State.
No Safeway-branded stores in Northern Calfornia, including the two in Pleasanton, are on the acquisition list.
Divestiture of these stores is being undertaken in order to secure FTC clearance of the companies' proposed merger, which was announced in March and is expected to close in January. The purchase agreements with the four buyers are all subject to approval by the FTC.
Under the terms of the purchase agreements, the buyers will acquire the stores, equipment and inventory, and they intend to hire most, if not all, of the store employees upon the closing of the purchase of the stores.
For a complete list of stores to be divested, sign on to the Albertsons' website at http://www.albertsons.com/tellmemore/
"We're pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway," said Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, who will serve as the combined company's president and CEO.
"We look forward now to the transaction's close, so we can begin working together to enhance the loyalty of grocery shoppers by delivering high quality products, great service and lower prices to become the favorite local supermarket in every neighborhood we serve."
Safeway Inc. operates Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Carr's stores. It is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S. with sales of $35.1 billion in 2013.
Up to now, the company has operated 1,326 stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia, 13 distribution centers and 19 manufacturing plants, and employed approximately 138,000 employees.
The company's common stock is currently traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol SWY. However, the company will be delisted from the NYSE upon closing of the merger.
For Albertons, it all started in 1939 when Joe Albertson opened his first grocery store in Boise, Idaho. He called it "Idaho's largest and finest food store." Joe was innovative. He had one of the first magazine racks in the country. He offered his customers hot, buttered popcorn, roasted nuts, and double-dipped home-made ice cream cones, plus one of the first scratch bakeries.
A posting on Albertson's web site states that from the beginning, Joe Albertson's philosophy was to "Give the customer the merchandise they want, at a price they can afford, complete with lots of tender, loving care."
Today, in all of its 600+ stores from California to Florida and with over 60,000 associates, Albertson's still practices this same philosophy, the company states. The organization has evolved from that corner store into a chain spanning several states, but its focus continues to be on the customer, and on becoming the favorite neighborhood food and drug retailer in every market where it does business.
Albertson's LLC was formed in 2006, when the assets of Albertson's, Inc. were sold to three separate companies. SUPERVALU, out of Minnesota, bought the majority of the stores, and the free-standing drug stores in the south were sold to CVS. Albertson's LLC acquired stores in Northern California, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Florida. In 2013, Albertson's LLC was able to bring all of the Albertsons stores back together again by purchasing the assets from SUPERVALU that they had acquired in 2006 from the former Albertson's, Inc., bringing the company full-circle.
Albertsons (now identified without the apostrophe "s"), was established in 2006 under the corporate name AB Acquisition LLC. It operates ACME, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaws, Star Market and Super Saver, and stores under the United Family of stores, Amigos, Market Street and United Supermarkets.
The company is privately owned by Cerberus Capital Management, Kimco Realty Corporation, Klaff Realty, Lubert-Adler Partners and Schottenstein Stores Corporation, and currently operates 1,081 stores and 14 distribution centers in 29 states and employs approximately 115,000 associates.
For more information, about Albertsons, sign on to the company's website at www.Albertsons.com/
For more information about Safeway, sign on to that company's website at www.Safeway.com/