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    Three Groups Poised to Bid for Albertsons

    BOISE, Idaho -- Three bidders have been putting final touches on offers to take over Albertsons to meet tomorrow's deadline to enter bids for the entire company. The deal, which would be made by a consortium of private equity firms, could be worth as much as $16 billion, including debt, in a sale, according to published reports.

    BOISE, Idaho -- Three bidders have been putting final touches on offers to take over Albertsons to meet tomorrow's deadline to enter bids for the entire company. The deal, which would be made by a consortium of private equity firms, could be worth as much as $16 billion, including debt, in a sale, according to published reports.

    Three groups are expected to bid for the entire company: Apollo Management, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Texas Pacific Group; Cerberus Capital Management, Kimco Realty, and food retailer and wholesaler Supervalu; and Yucaipa -- the investment vehicle of California billionaire Ron Burkle -- and Dubai Investment Group.

    One challenge in the auction for Albertsons, according to reports, is the fate of its drug store business, which has more than 2,000 branches in 37 states. CVS and Walgreen are bidding for the unit.

    Once all the bids for the whole company are in, Albertsons will decide whether to sell the drug store unit to the private equity groups, or to one of the bidding drug chains.

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