Earlier this month analysts reported that Acme’s parent company, Albertsons, may be looking to unload some of its supermarket chains as the company begins a comprehensive review of its business strategy. Albertsons said the review would include considering “potential strategic or financial transactions” and entertaining “inquires.”
Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are helping Albertsons with the process.
A sale of the company – or a portion of it – would benefit Cerberus Capital Management and Philadelphia’s Lubert-Adler Partners, investment firms that took Albertsons public in 2020. As of December, Cerberus owned 32% of the company while Lubert-Adler owned 12%. Since the IPO, the share price has risen from $15.50 to $34.41 (3/11/22).
“These investors buy assets for a song, put a little money into it, make the stores better, then sell at a profit. Now they want to get some good returns on that,” said St. Joseph’s University Food Marketing Professor John Stanton. “Their real business is selling companies, not food. That’s what you hire investment bankers for, to sell assets.”
Stanton added that Acme could be sold “as real estate” to other store chains. Acme currently has 161 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Maryland.
Albertsons operates about 2,300 supermarkets, 1,700 stand-alone pharmacies, 400 gas stations, and dozens of warehouses and food processing plants spread among 34 states. Major brands other than Acme include Safeway, Jewel Osco and Vons.