91 Colorado Safeway stores will be sold if the Kroger-Albertson merger goes through

DENVER – A total of 91 Safeway locations in Colorado will be sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers under a new deal in the ongoing saga of the proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons.

The companies announced the updated divestiture plan Monday in their latest effort to address federal government concerns about the plan to combine the two grocers.

The new plan includes the sale of 579 Kroger and Albertsons stores in markets where they overlap to C&S, a New Hampshire supermarket supplier and operator, for $2.9 billion. Under the original divestiture plan, announced in September, C&S planned to buy 413 stores for $1.9 billion.

Under the new plan, C&S would purchase 91 Safeway locations in Colorado under a licensing agreement and continue to operate the locations under the Safeway banner, according to a news release from the companies. C&S would also gain access to some private label brands in stores.

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There are currently 103 Safeway stores and two Albertsons stores in Colorado. Kroger – operating as King Soopers and City Market in Colorado – will re-banner the 14 retained Albertsons and Safeway stores in the state following the completion of the merger, the companies said in the news release.

Exact details about which 14 Safeway locations in Colorado will re-emerge under the King Soopers and/or City Market banner are unknown at this time. C&S would also license the Albertsons banner in California and Wyoming and the Safeway banner in Arizona.

There will be 91 Colorado Safeway stores sold if the Kroger-Albertsons merger goes through

“Importantly, the updated divestment plan continues to ensure that no stores will close as a result of the merger and that all frontline employees will remain employed, that all existing collective bargaining agreements will remain in place and that employees will receive leading healthcare and will continue to receive pension benefits. benefits in addition to the agreed wages. Our proposed merger with Albertsons will deliver lower prices and more choices to more customers and secure the future of union jobs in the grocery industry,” Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said in a statement.

It is unclear whether the new plan will satisfy regulators. In February, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the $24.6 billion merger between the supermarket giants, saying the lack of competition would lead to higher grocery prices and lower wages for workers.

Kroger and Albertsons announced their planned merger in October 2022. The companies say this is necessary to better compete with Walmart, Amazon and other major rivals.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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