Safeway could be under new management in the near future. The second-largest supermarket chain in the U.S. said on Wednesday it is engaged in talks that could lead to the sale of the company.
In its announcement, Safeway stressed that the company has not yet reached a deal and could not assure discussions would lead to a sale. Management also said they would not comment on the discussions.
It's thought that one or more buyout firms are the most likely candidates to acquire Safeway. Cerberus Capital Management, which owns Albertsons, has been most prominently mentioned among possible suitors for parts or all of the company.
Safeway's fourth quarter same-store sales were up 1.6 percent, although the increase was largely wiped out by a large decline in fuel sales.
"We are pleased with the progress we made in 2013," said Robert Edwards, president and chief executive officer of Safeway, in a statement. "Strategies to grow sales and improve operating profit dollars have begun to produce results. In 2013, we generated our best volume growth since 2006, and we had our best identical-store sales growth in the last five years."
Do you think Safeway will be in a stronger or weaker competitive position if the company were sold?