Sentiment among gamblers on Wall Street is that Safeway can be bought on the cheap, at least for a company with earnings above $1 billion, and that Kroger or some other party may move in to acquire the company.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see vultures circling Safeway to see if the wounded prey has any value to it," Todd Lowenstein, a fund manager for Highmark Capital, told Bloomberg News. "They have some good assets and it's been a tough environment. When good assets get priced as if they're in the bargain bin like this, for both strategic and financial buyers, it hits their radar."
Talk about a possible takeover was fueled earlier by Safeway's recent announcement that it was moving to a "double trigger" option where top executives would be required to stay with the company through a buyout to qualify for fully vested payouts.
For its part, Safeway said it was just following "best practices in corporate governance" in adopting the vesting mechanism.
How likely is Safeway to be acquired?