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Northwest Grocery Chain To Buy Six SLO County Albertsons/Vons

Deal Result Of Merger Of Albertsons and Safeway

December 20,2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 6.13.00 AMBellingham Washington-based grocer Haggen plans to buy 146 stores as a result of the planned merger of Alberstons and Safeway.The small Pacific NW chain has just 18 stores but will now operate 164 locations including the acquisition of 6 Vons and Albertsons stores in San Luis Obispo County as part of a deal to be approved by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC required divestment in the planned merger of Albertsons and Safeway  – selling off some of the stores to encourage competition.

Haggen will now have locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona and be a new player here on the Central Coast.

The deal set close in January 2015 will mean SLO County Vons in Los Osos and Paso Robles well as the two Albertsons in San Luis Obispo,on Johnson and on Foothill and the Albertsons in Arroyo Grande and Atascadero will all be rebranded to include the Haggen’s name. The stores be be converted in phases.

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 5.59.40 AMStill operating as Albertsons will be the Morro Bay store,the Santa Maria Albertsons, the Vons on Broad in SLO, the Grover Beach Vons location,the Atascadero Vons and the Vons in Nipomo.The stores will be all under the merged management once approved by the FTC.

All Albertsons and Safeway store employees will have the opportunity to be rehired, growing Haggen’s workforce from 2,000 in two states to more than 10,000 across five states.

Unified Grocers, Inc., the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the western United States, announced Friday that it will be the primary and preferred supplier for all of Haggen’s newly acquired stores in California, Nevada and Arizona and will be a substantial supplier for the Oregon and Washington stores. Additionally, Unified’s Market Centre subsidiary will supply specialty products for all the acquired stores. This agreement represents about 
$750 million in annual new business. The company also announced today that it has successfully completed a refinancing of its credit facilities to provide greater flexibility to finance its growth plans and lower its ongoing interest costs.

AB Acquisition LLC (Albertsons) and Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) confirmed the deal Friday saying that they have entered into agreements, subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to sell 168 stores across eight states to four buyers:
Associated Food Stores (AFS) will purchase eight stores in Montana and Wyoming;
Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG)/Minyards will purchase 12 stores in Texas;
SUPERVALU will purchase two stores in Washington; and
Haggen will purchase 146 stores across Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Divestiture of these stores is being undertaken in order to secure FTC clearance of the companies’ proposed merger, which was announced in March and is expected to close in January 2015. The purchase agreements with the four buyers are all subject to approval by the FTC.

Under the terms of the purchase agreements, the buyers will acquire the stores, equipment and inventory, and they intend to hire most, if not all, of the store employees upon the closing of the purchase of the stores.. For a complete list of stores to be divested, please visit: http://www.albertsons.com/tellmemore.

“We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway,” said Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Edwards, who will serve as the combined company’s President and CEO. “We look forward now to the transaction’s close, so we can begin working together to enhance the loyalty of grocery shoppers by delivering high quality products, great service and lower prices to become the favorite local supermarket in every neighborhood we serve.”

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