Safeway, Albertsons Divest 168 Stores, Haggen Chain Buys Majority

AB Acquisition LLC, which operates Albertson, Acme, Amigos, Jewel-Osco, Shaws, Star Market, Super Saver and other supermarkets across the United States, and Safeway Inc, which operates Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Carrs supermarkets, have announced today they have entered agreements, subject to approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, to sell 168 stores in eight states to four buyers. Haggen Inc. is the major purchaser.

Haggen, which currently operates 18 namesake supermarkets and one other grocery operation in Washington and Oregon, will purchase 146 stores across Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California, and Nevada from AB Acquisition/Safeway, the sellers noted.

In addition, Associated Food Stores will purchase eight stores from AB Acquisition/Safeway in Montana and Wyoming. Associated Wholesale Grocers/Minyards will purchase 12 stores in Texas. And Supervalu will purchase two stores in Washington.

AB Acquisition and Safeway are divesting the stores to secure FTC clearance of the companies’ proposed merger, they stated, a move announced in March and expected to close in January 2015. The purchase agreements with the four buyers are subject to FTC approval, the companies added.

“We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway,” Robert Edwards, Safeway president and CEO, said in announcing the deals. “We look forward now to the transaction’s close, so we can begin working together to enhance the loyalty of grocery shoppers by delivering high quality products, great service and lower prices to become the favorite local supermarket in every neighborhood we serve.”

Edwards will serve as president and CEO of the combined AB Acquisition/Safeway operation.