Save-A-Lot could sell to private equity

Save-A-Lot could be sold to a private equity company, as Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) prepares to host an auction for the banner.

Some of the largest private equity firms are planning to participate in an auction, reported Reuters. Offers would be binding and could value Save-A-Lot at close to $1.8 billion, according to the report.

The auction results will determine whether Save-A-Lot will be sold or spun off into its own publicly traded company. A spin-off of Supervalu's Save-A-Lot into a stand-alone company is looking less likely as private equity firms prepare bids for the grocery banner.

Supervalu has been focused on its wholesale operations and said in December it was readying to spin off or sell Save-A-Lot. The company has made several key managerial changes and begun developing new initiatives in advance of a sale, including a new concept in some stores, creating formats that appeal to different cultural groups.

Save-A-Lot operates more than 1,300 stores, comprised of 463 corporate stores and about 900 owned by licensees.

For more:
- see this Reuters story