Call it the incredible shrinking grocery chain. Albertson's LLC runs 600-plus Albertsons supermarkets in some 15 states, including California, Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas. That's all that remains of what was once the nation's #2 supermarket operator with about 2,500 stores. Stung by competition, the firm sold itself to a consortium that included rival grocer SUPERVALU, drugstore chain CVS, investment firm Cerberus Capital Management, and Kimco Realty for about $9.7 billion in 2006. SUPERVALU and CVS cherry-picked the company's best supermarket and drugstore assets. Subsequent closings and divestments, including 132 stores in Northern California and its Florida locations, further shrunk the firm.
In a move that reverses the downward slide in its store count, Albertson's will greatly expand its presence in Texas with the purchase of 50 supermarkets and three distributions centers (among other assets) from family-owned and Lubbock-based United Supermarkets. When the deal (the terms of which were not disclosed) closes in October 2013, United will operate as an independent unit of Albertson's. Albertson's, which has about 75 stores in Texas, should benefit from United's strong reputation in north and west Texas. The acquired stores will continue to do business under the United, Market Street, and Amigos banners. The purchase is a reversal of sorts for Albertson's, whose recent history has been marked by retreat from some markets, including California and Utah, and big cutbacks in others, such as Colorado, Florida, and Texas. In 2012 Albertson's closed 13 of its 17 stores in Florida, following the sale of three of its supermarkets in Central Texas to local rival H-E-B in 2011. The sale followed the closing of seven stores in Texas in early 2011. Those closings, all in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, left Albertson's with about only 75 stores in Texas.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In March 2013 Albertson's LLC acquired all of the remaining Albertson's grocery stores in California, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, and Utah that were formerly owned by SUPERVALU.
Albertson's is owned by a group of investors led by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management.
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