FTC Green Lights Albertsons/Safeway Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given final approval for the merger agreement between Cerberus-owned AB Acquisition LLC, parent company of Albertson’s LLC and New Albertson’s Inc., and Safeway Inc. The deal is expected to close within the next five business days.

Through the agreement, which was first announced in March of last year, AB Acquisition will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway stock at $40 per share, or $9 billion. Once complete, the merger will create a network that includes more than 2,400 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 20 manufacturing plants, employing more than 250,000 associates. 

As Progressive Grocer previously reported, the companies have agreed to divest 168 stores to four buyers as part of the effort to gain FTC approval.

Haggen purchased the majority of the divested locations, which includes 146 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Other buyers include Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG)/Minyards, Associated Food Stores (AFS) and Supervalu.

Once the deal officially closes, Albertsons' CEO Bob Miller will become executive chairman, while Robert Edwards, current Safeway president and CEO, will serve as the president/CEO of the combined companies. Other members of the senior leadership team, as well as the slate of division leaders, have also been announced.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates stores under its flagship banner, as well as Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Carrs. The company has 1,326 stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia, 13 distribution centers and 19 manufacturing plants, and employs approximately 138,000 employees.

AB Acquisition LLC operates Acme Markets, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaws, Star Market and Super Saver, as well as stores under the United Family, Amigos, Market Street and United Supermarkets brands. The company operates 1,081 stores and 14 distribution centers in 29 states and employs approximately 115,000 associates.