AB Acquisition LLC and Safeway Inc. have completed their merger transaction. Under the terms of the merger agreement, AB Acquisition LLC, the owner of Albertson's LLC and New Albertson's, Inc. (collectively "Albertsons"), will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway. AB Acquisition is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, LP, which also includes Lubert-Adler Partners LP, Kimco Realty Corporation , Klaff Realty LP and Schottenstein Stores Corporation.
The seeds for this latest deal were planted in 2006 when Lubert-Adler, Klaff, Cerberus, Kimco, and Schottenstein joined CVS and SuperValu to acquire Albertsons, which was then the country's second largest grocer. This latest deal brings together Albertson's and Safeway, creating the second largest grocery chain behind Kroger's. The merger will create a diversified network that includes 2,230 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 19 manufacturing plants with over 250,000 employees across 34 states and Washington, DC.
"We plan to be the favorite local supermarket in every community we serve," said Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, who becomes President and CEO of the newly combined company, effective immediately. "We will do this by knowing, listening to, and delighting our customers; providing the right products at a compelling value; and delivering a superior shopping experience. We will also continue to be active members of our local communities."
As previously announced, current Albertsons Chief Executive Officer Bob Miller will become Executive Chairman. "This is a transformative day for both Albertsons and Safeway. This merger creates a unified, strong organization that is dedicated to bringing a better shopping experience to more customers across the country," commented Mr. Miller. "Our combined geographic footprint, vast range of brands and products, and service-oriented staff will enable us to meet evolving shopping preferences."