January 16, 2013LANCASTER — The investment group that announced on Thursday that it is in the process of buying Shaw's supermarkets and its sister brand, Star Market, told the "Boston Globe" that it is not planning any immediate changes at these two New England chains. There are 155 Shaw's stores, including only one in Coös County, and 14 Star Markets with a total 17,000 employees, including about 80 in the Lancaster store on Routes 2 and 3.
Supervalu Inc. of Minnesota has agreed to sell several of its supermarket chains to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management LP, a privately held company.
"There are no store closings that were part of yesterday's announcement," said Bay-State-based Steve Sylven, Shaw's external communications manager.
"Regarding the future of the stores, the management teams for both organizations will determine staffing needs and roles and responsibilities for their respective companies," Sylven continued. "This process may take several months.
"I can tell you that for the time being, our focus at Shaw's remains on continuing to provide the great products, service, and experience our customers expect from us."
Store manager Larry Homer and the Shaw's staff have been directed not to speak with the media but to refer all inquires to Sylven, who was quick to respond to phone and e-mail inquiries.
Supervalu told the "Globe" team that it has agreed to sell its Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market stores, and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies to AB Acquisition LLC, a consortium of firms that includes Cerberus, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners, and Schottenstein Real Estate Group, in a transaction valued at $3.3 billion, which includes $100 million in cash and the assumption of $3.2 billion in debt. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. Globe reporters Chris Reidy and Jenn Abelson in an article published in Friday's paper explained: "The (two local) grocers are part of a larger $3.3 billion buyout that would put the supermarkets in the hands of private equity firms, including Cerberus Capital Management, the company that controls the Boston-based Steward Health Care System hospital network."
Albertsons was split between two companies about six years ago. One was Supervalu, which operates some stores under the Albertsons nameplate. A separate company, Albertson's LLC, currently operates about 200 stores. Cerberus is an investor in Albertson's LLC, which is expected to run the different grocery brands.
The pending sale remains subject to regulatory review.