BOISE, Idaho – Albertson's Inc. (ABS), the nation's second largest traditional supermarket chain on Friday confirmed it received a buyout offer and it planned to begin negotiations. It did not say how much the offer was worth.
Albertson's did not name the bidder in its statement but said the proposal was from a consortium that previously made an offer in December.
The announcement comes a day after The Wall Street Journal reported that Minnesota-based supermarket chain Supervalu Inc. and a consortium of private-equity investors offered just more than $26 per share.
A previous offer — reportedly valued at about $9.6 billion in cash and stock, or about $26 per share — fell apart when the parties could not agree on who would be responsible if antitrust regulators tried to block the deal. At that time, Albertson's said it was no longer considering a sale of the entire company.
The company said there can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached, and it does not expect to disclose more details unless it approves a transaction or ends the talks.
Albertson's is No. 2 behind Kroger Co. (KR), with about 2,500 stores including Albertson's, Acme, Shaw's, Jewel-Osco and Sav-on Drugs.
The company announced Sept. 2 it was interested in pursuing "strategic alternatives" to increase shareholder value and launched a three-month auction to accept bids on the chain. Albertson's has struggled due to an extended period of lagging sales results, a stagnant share price and competition from lower-cost rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT).