Supervalu Inc.’s Mark Neporent and Lenard Tessler, two directors on the grocer’s board, will step down effective immediately, the grocer has said.
Neporent, COO and general counsel for Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., and Tessler, co-head of global private equity and senior managing director of the same, were appointed as designees of Symphony Investors LLC, the Cerberus-led investor consortium that purchased five Supervalu banners – including Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market stores – in January 2013.
Neporent’s and Tessler’s resignations follow yesterday’s announcement that Cerberus-owned AB Acquisition LLC, parent company of Albertson’s LLC and New Albertson’s, Inc., will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway in a deal valued at $9 billion.
“In light of the transaction announced today, we felt it was in the best interests of Supervalu for us to resign our seats on the Supervalu Board,” Neporent said. "The directors who will be designated to replace Lenard and me under the Tender Offer Agreement are expected to be independent of both Cerberus and Supervalu and will add to Supervalu’s outstanding board.”
In a statement, Sam Duncan, CEO of Supervalu, thanked Neporent and Tessler for their service, noting that as the process moves forward to designate new board members, “we are continuing our focus on driving sales and serving all of our customers, including providing services under the Transition Services Agreements with Albertsons LLC and New Albertsons, Inc.,” he said.
Supervalu’s board currently has nine members, including seven members who are independent directors under the New York Stock Exchange listing standards.
Minnesota-based Supervalu Inc. operates a network of 3,358 stores composed of 1,834 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business; 1,334 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 954 are operated by licensee owners; and 190 traditional retail grocery stores.