Albertsons, one of the country’s biggest supermarket chains, is preparing to return to the public markets, months after its private owners bought rival Safeway.
The company on Wednesday filed to go public, paving the way for an eventual exit from its years of ownership under a consortium led by the investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.
The filing sets up what could be one of the larger initial public offerings this year at a time when the market for taking companies public has been relatively quiet.
Originally founded by Joe Albertson in Boise, Idaho in 1939, Albertsons grew primarily throughout the western United States. The supermarketoriginally sold itself in 2006 to a group that included Supervalu, CVS and a partnership made up of Cerberus and several real estate firms.
The Cerberus group then bought grocery chains, including Albertsons, from Supervalu in 2013 for about $3 billion.
Its biggest deal came last year, when Cerberus and others agreed to buy Safeway, another market whose roots lie in Idaho, for $9.2 billion. That deal closed early this year, laying the groundwork for the filing on Wednesday.
In its most recent fiscal year, which included January to account for the Safeway acquisition, Albertsons reported $27.2 billion in sales and a $1.2 billion loss. By comparison, it reported $20 billion in sales and a $1.7 billion profit in 2013.
The offering listed a $100 million fund-raising target, a preliminary figure meant to determine listing fees.
The prospectus did not disclose other important details about the stock sale, like the ticker symbol or on which stock exchange it planned to list. It also did not specify how many shares Cerberus or the other investors planned to sell.
Leading the stock sale are Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Lazard.
Source: The New York Times