Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has negotiated a deal to purchase the Safeway grocery store chain, which will lead to an effective merger of Safeway with the Albertson’s grocery chain.
"Safeway has been focused on better meeting shoppers' diverse needs through local, relevant assortment, an improved price/value proposition and a great shopping experience that has driven improved sales trends,” said Robert Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer of Safeway Inc. “We are excited about continuing this momentum as a combined organization.”
The $9.4 billion deal will give Cerberus dominant control over the West Coast grocery business; Cerberus already owns the Albertsons chain. The combined stores will employ 250,000 employees at more than 2,400 outlets.
"This transaction offers us the opportunity to better serve customers by adapting more quickly to evolving shopping preferences in diverse regions across the country,” Albertsons' Chief Executive Officer Bob Miller stated. “… Working together will enable us to create cost savings that translate into price reductions for our customers. Together, we will be able to respond to local needs more quickly and deliver outstanding products at the lowest possible price, more efficiently than ever before."
Safeway does not expect to close any stores as a result of the sale, the chain said. Safeway stores will still be operated under the Safeway banner.
The sale will lead to some operational efficiencies, allowing for a wider range of products, more perishable goods, reduced prices and refurbished stores.
The Pleasanton-based Safeway chain is the 11th largest retailer in the United States, based on 2009 revenues.
The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.