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    Reports Say Supervalu Deal for Albertsons on Skids

    BOISE, Idaho -- The proposed deal for a consortium including Supervalu to acquire Albertsons here is in jeopardy as talks stopped last night, according to press reports.

    BOISE, Idaho -- The proposed deal for a consortium including Supervalu to acquire Albertsons here is in jeopardy as talks stopped last night, according to press reports.

    The decision to end talks came at the 11th hour, during a board meeting at which directors were planning to approve the sale of the company for about $9.6 billion in cash and stock, according to a report in The New York Times. The consortium was the highest bid includes the CVS drugstore chain, SuperValu, Cerberus Capital Management, an investment fund, and Kimco Realty, a real estate investment company.

    The Times said several sources disclosed that Albertsons is planning to consider several alternatives, such as selling some underperforming stores and its drugstore business; then use the proceeds to recapitalize.

    The buying group had reportedly planned to break Albertsons up into three parts, cleaving the grocery business in two and merging the drugstore business with CVS. Reports said Supervalu was particularly interested in Albertsons' operations Shaw's Supermarkets, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Star Market and Bristol Farms, as well as 569 units under the Albertsons banner in the West. Under the deal, the investor group was planning to pay slightly more than $26 a share in cash and stock.

    Yesterday, shares of Albertson's increased 22 cents, to close at $24.10, rising about 4 percent since the company was put up for auction in September.

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