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Report: Supervalu closing in on sale

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

Supervalu stock closed up nearly 14 percent, to $2.90, after reports that the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based grocery chain is on the verge of selling its Albertsons and Save A Lot chains.

The parent company of Chicago-based Jewel-Osco, Supervalu has lagged competitors like Kroger and Dominick’s parent Safeway, and has acknowledged sale talks since mid-year.

Supervalu declined to comment on speculation, but reiterated a statement released last week that said that the company “continues to be in active discussion with several parties.”

Should Supervalu sell Albertsons and Save A Lot to Cerberus Capital Management, a private investment firm, it would be losing a traditional grocery chain that has been the source of layoffs and store closures, as well as its primary growth vehicle.

Save A Lot, a hard discounter, has more than 1,300 locations nationwide. The chain’s franchised business model and small footprint has allowed for rapid growth while low prices have been particularly attractive in food deserts.

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