Supervalu Agrees to Sell Five Grocery Chains to Cerberus

by Nate Hunter

Eden Prairie, Minn. — The acquisition will include 877 stores for $100 million, plus more than $3.3 billion in debt.

Eden Prairie, Minn. — Supervalu has reached a deal to sell five of its largest grocery chains for $100 million, plus more than $3.3 billion in debt.

The sale to AB Acquisition, an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, will include 877 stores. Cerberus will also offer to buy up to 30 percent of the remaining Supervalu for $4 per share.

Supervalu is selling its Albertson’s, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores, along with related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies. The Eden Prairie-based company will remain an independent, publicly traded company and will retain ownership of the Cub Foods chain in Minnesota, Save-A-Lot, Farm Fresh, Shoppers, Shop ‘n Save and Hornbachers as well as its food distribution business.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the real estate has an estimated value of $150 to $200 per square foot and the properties could be worth a total of between $3.3 billion and $4.4 billion.

The investor group will acquire the stores for $100 million in cash and the new company will assume $3.2 billion in existing debt. The deal will reportedly cut Supervalu’s annual sales in half, but relieve the company of much of its debt load.

“The transactions announced today represent the successful culmination of the in-depth strategic review process we commenced this past summer,” says Wayne Sales, Supervalu CEO and chairman.

Supervalu says grocery retail veteran Sam Duncan will replace Sales after the deal closes.

“We are pleased to be making this investment and look forward to helping build long-term value for all stakeholders,” says Lenard Tessler, co-head of global private equity and senior managing director and Cerberus. “We believe these transactions will create stronger, more competitive businesses.”.

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