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    Safeway Shareholders Approve Albertsons Merger

    96 percent vote in favor of deal

    Safeway shareholders voted overwhelmingly last Friday to approve the acquisition by an affiliate of Albertsons (AB Acquisition), which if all goes as planned, will create the nation’s second-largest supermarket chain. The $9 billion deal, first announced in March, is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

    According to Safeway, 70 percent of the outstanding shares and 96 percent of the voting shareholders were in favor of the acquisition. Shareholders also approved a non-binding advisory proposal to approve a merger-related compensation plan for Safeway's top executive officers, and also voted down two other measures, in line with recommendations by the board of directors: 90 percent said no to a proposal to label products containing genetically modified ingredients, and 88 percent voted against extending producer responsibility.

    Pending any divestitures that might be required by the Federal Trade Commission, the merger with Safeway will give Boise-based Albertsons close to 2,400 stores, including approximately 1,300 from Safeway, with total sales approaching $60 billion.

    All figures are expressed in terms of percentages of the shares voted, except for the Merger proposal, which is expressed as a percentage of Safeway's outstanding common stock. Final vote results will be reported in a Form 8-K.

    Under the acquisition agreement, Safeway president and CEO Robert Edwards will hold the same titles of the combined company, while Bob Miller, current CEO of Albertsons, will become executive chairman.

    Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc. operates 1,331 stores and had annual sales of $36.1 billion in 2013.

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