Mirror Staff Report
MONTROSE-It’s official-the merger between two major grocery chains was finalized Jan. 30. And here in Montrose, shoppers can expect greater savings, and a more active community presence at the local Safeway store.
According to a company news release, under the terms of the merger agreement first announced and unanimously approved by Safeway’s Board of Directors in March 2014, AB Acquisition LLC, the owner of Albertson’s LLC and New Albertson’s, Inc. (collectively “Albertsons”), has acquired all outstanding shares of Safeway.
“This doubles the size of the company,” Montrose Safeway Store Manager Scott Pfeiffer said. “We have just had two days of meetings, talking about the great things to come. This is going to be such a strong, competitive company! We will be doing more in the community as well; it’s just exciting and good for everyone.”
“We plan to be the favorite local supermarket in every community we serve,” said Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, now President and CEO of the newly combined company. “We will do this by knowing, listening to, and delighting our customers; providing the right products at a compelling value; and delivering a superior shopping experience. We will also continue to be active members of our local communities.”
As previously announced, current Albertsons Chief Executive Officer Bob Miller will become Executive Chairman.
“This is a transformative day for both Albertsons and Safeway. This merger creates a unified, strong organization that is dedicated to bringing a better shopping experience to more customers across the country,” commented Miller in the news release. “Our combined geographic footprint, vast range of brands and products, and service-oriented staff will enable us to meet evolving shopping preferences.”
Here in Montrose, at least one Safeway staffer expressed excitement not only about the merger, but about new, lime green uniforms that will soon replace the traditional khaki.
The merger will create a diversified network that includes 2,230 stores, 27 distribution facilities and 19 manufacturing plants with over 250,000 employees across 34 states and the District of Columbia.
The new company will be comprised of three regions and 14 retail divisions, supported by corporate offices in Boise, ID, Pleasanton, CA, and Phoenix, AZ. Banners will include Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Albertsons, ACME, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s, Star Market, Super Saver, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos. In December, the companies announced the sale of 168 stores to four separate buyers, as divestitures required in order to secure U.S. Federal Trade Commission approval of the transaction.
About Safeway Inc.
Safeway Inc., which operates Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, and Carrs stores, is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States with sales of $35.1 billion in 2013. The company’s common stock previously traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol SWY, and will be delisted from the NYSE as a result of the closing of the merger. For more information, please visit www.Safeway.com.
Established in 2006, AB Acquisition LLC (“Albertsons”), which operates ACME, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaws, Star Market and Super Saver, and stores under the United Family of stores, Amigos, Market Street and United Supermarkets, is working to become the favorite food and drug retailer in every market it serves. The company is privately owned by Cerberus Capital Management, Kimco Realty Corporation, Klaff Realty, Lubert-Adler Partners, and Schottenstein Stores Corporation. For more information, please visit www.Albertsons.com.