Safeway receives $9 billion purchase bid from Cerberus

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.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal article

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