Inside This Issue - News
Supervalu in search of suitor
September 3rd, 2012
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Supervalu Inc. is reportedly asking potential buyers of parts of its business to consider bidding for the entire company instead.
A report by the Bloomberg news service said that Cerberus Capital Management LP is considering a possible deal to acquire Supervalu’s Albertsons chain. And Ahold NV is interested in the Shoppers chain, which operates in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the report stated.
Supervalu announced in July that it was exploring options for overhauling its operations, including the sale of one or more of its divisions. Finding a buyer for the entire company, which has $6.14 billion in net debt and $1.05 billion in pension obligations, could be difficult.
"It’s going to be very difficult to sell Supervalu as a whole," Charles Cerankosky, an analyst at Northcoast Research Holdings LLC, told Bloomberg. "The most likely scenario, as opposed to what the board or management would like, is the company ends up being broken into pieces."
Another possibility is that a private equity buyer could step up and acquire the entire company, and then break it up, keeping some parts of the business and selling off the rest.
Meanwhile, Supervalu announced that Robert Bly will join the company as president of its 56-unit Shoppers chain.
Bly will report to Chuck Elias, senior vice president of Retail Operations. Bly replaces Tim Lowe, who recently accepted a new leadership role in Supervalu’s merchandising organization. Bly, 49, most recently was a vice president of Sears Holdings Corp.’s Kmart and Sears divisions.