Albertsons finalizes $9 billion Safeway purchase

Albertsons' board of directors officially approved the acquisition of Safeway (NYSE:SWY) for $9.2 billion. The agreement would make the retailer the second largest supermarket chain in the United States.

Safeway's outstanding 96 percent of shares voted in favor of the merger at last week's meeting in Pleasanton, California, the company's headquarters, reported the Los Angeles Daily Mail. The deal is still pending a review by the Federal Trade Commission, which will probably require both supermarket chains to divest some stores for competitive reasons.

The deal will create a network of more than 2,000 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 20 manufacturing plants managed by more than 250,000 employees. Safeway currently operates 1,330 stores and Albertsons has more than 600. The merger would make the supermarket chain slightly smaller than Kroger, the largest grocery retailer in the United States.

"Albertsons is a very important, major player in Southern California, and you might see an overlap there with Vons," Robert Reynolds, a Moraga-based retail analyst, told the Los Angeles Daily Mail.

The acquisition was voted on and approved by Safeway's board of directors in March. The news came just days after Safeway announced it was looking for a buyer and rumors that Kroger had an interest in the purchase.

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-See also LA Daily News article

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