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    Sam Zell Confirms Bid to Acquire Albertsons-Safeway Divestures

    Equity investor looks to buy 140 stores in advance of merger

    By Kyle Shamorian, Stagnito Business Information

    Private equity investor Sam Zell has confirmed a bid to purchase 140 stores from Cerberus Capital Management in advance of the $9 billion merger between Cerberus-owned Albertsons LLC and Safeway Inc.

    Zell joins Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management and Comvest Partners, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., as one of three contenders vying for the stores that Cerberus looks to divest in an effort to secure regulatory approval for the pending merger, which was announced in March of this year. Zell is reportedly working with Stuart Sloan on the bid, who served as chairman for the Quality Food Centers grocery chain.

    Following the closing of the Albertsons-Safeway merger, the joint company will comprise 2,400 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 20 manufacturing plants and employ approximately 250,000 associates.

    In a recent interview with Fox News, Zell noted that the merger creates an "opportunistic environment," as the forced divestures are likely a secondary concern for the two companies, as their focus remains on "getting the big deal done."

    Safeway and Albertsons have not commented on the divestures.

    Established in 2006, Albertsons operates stores under its flagship banner, as well as Acme Markets, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s, Star Market and Super Saver, and more recently, stores under the United Family of stores – Amigos, Market Street and United Supermarkets.

    The nation's second-largest retailer, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates under its flagship, as well as Vons, Pavilion’s, Randall’s, Tom Thumb and Carrs.

    By Kyle Shamorian, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Kyle Shamorian In his digital editor role, Kyle Shamorian oversees all content on progressivegrocer.com, Progressive Grocer’s online extension that features real-time daily news, exclusive content, new products, blogs, and related multimedia products. In addition to writing and editing content on a wide range of grocery industry issues, Kyle helms the Brain Food department in PG’s print edition, which spotlights shopper behavior and consumer trends in the retail industry. Before joining Progressive Grocer’s editorial team in July 2012, Kyle, a 2003 graduate of Marquette University, previously managed digital platforms for a variety of industries.

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