Haggen Food and Pharmacy stores recently acquired 146 Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores across five states: Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Arizona. Since then, rumors have surfaced that the selling off of these properties was part of a larger scheme by Albertsons to unload underperforming stores.
Albertsons purchased Safeway last summer for $9.2 billion and was required to divest properties in order to be approved by the FTC. The company also said they would close 26 stores, Forbes reported.
According to the rumors, the stores sold to Haggen were understocked and had trouble paying vendors.
Last week Haggen sued Albertsons for more than $1 billion, alleging that its purchase of the 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores was part of the company's strategy to eliminate Haggen as competition in five states. Haggen also claims that Albertsons lied to the FTC about a seamless transformation of these stores into viable locations for Haggen. In other words, those behind the deal on Albertsons' side knew these locations would never succeed.
"Had Haggen known Albertsons' true intentions, Haggen would never have purchased the stores, nor would the FTC have permitted such a purchase," stated the lawsuit, according the Associated Press.
Albertsons is the second largest U.S. grocery chain, just behind Kroger, and operates more than 2,200 stores. The company announced an IPO filing in July.
-See this Forbes article
-See this Associated Press article
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