Safeway (NYSE:SWY) has reportedly received a $9 billion purchase bid from Cerberus Capital Management LP. The agreement, worth about $40 a share, was disclosed Thursday afternoon by the Wall Street Journal.
Safeway's board has yet to approve the sale, but will be voting on the agreement Thursday afternoon. If approved, the purchase will be announced after after the stock market closes Thursday.
The potential bid comes just days after Kroger, the nation's largest grocery store chain, reportedly expressed interest in acquiring some of Safeway's 1,335 stores. It's unclear how a Cerberus offer would affect Kroger's pursuit, however, sources close to the matter report that Kroger could still put up a bid after a Safeway deal with Cerberus is announced.
The move is the latest in grocery store shakeups and mergers. In October, Kroger outbid Cerberus to acquire Harris Teeter for $2.5 billion just months after Cerberus bought about 900 Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market stores from Supervalu for $3.3 billion.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the purchase bid was for $9 million. The correct amount, $9 billion, has been updated here.
-See this Wall Street Journal article
Safeway stock rallies on buyout rumors; debt concerns rise
Investors happy about Safeway shedding Dominick's
Safeway Canada sells out to Sobey's for $5.7 billion
Whole Foods confirms plan to buy 7 former Dominick's stores in Chicago
Safeway will pay $600K for pollution violations