Albertsons Buys Shaw’s and Star Markets

Discussion
Mar 26, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Albertsons has announced that it has agreed on a deal with Britain’s J Sainsbury to buy the Shaw’s and Star Market supermarket chains for $2.457 billion.

“We are excited about welcoming Shaw’s and their 30,000 associates to the Albertsons family of world-class grocery banners,” said Larry Johnston, chairman, CEO and president of Albertsons in a released statement. “This acquisition will extend our national footprint into Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, bringing our total national market presence to more than 2,500 stores in 37 states. Shaw’s has earned an excellent reputation for quality and service with New England consumers and holds #1 or #2 shares in each of its major markets.”

Paul Gannon, Shaw’s CEO and president, said: “We believe this exciting, new relationship with Albertsons will be beneficial for both companies and allow Shaw’s to retain its leadership position in the New England marketplace. Our customers, associates and vendors should be assured we are working toward a seamless transition. This is a win-win for both companies.”

“Shaw’s has delivered positive comparable store sales for the past two years,” said Mr. Johnston. “This is a significant accomplishment in light of a challenging economy and intense competition. An intense screening process that was conducted prior to the acquisition agreement corroborated Shaw’s many strengths. The quality of Shaw’s stores, the talent of its leadership team, the skills and energy of its associates, and its customer satisfaction ratings have impressed us.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Albertsons acquisition of Shaw’s and Star Markets from J Sainsbury?

Our advice for Larry Johnston is simple. Let Shaw’s be Shaw’s. Try making them into Albertsons and you might as well call them Seessel’s.

Albertsons addresses the question on its Web site. “We don’t anticipate any substantial changes after the acquisition. The Shaw’s and Star Market banners
will remain, as will their private label products. Our goal will be to strengthen all the reasons that New England customers love Shaw’s.”

Albertsons will be hosting a conference call to discuss the acquisition. You can access it through the Albertsons’ Web site at: http://www.albertsons.com/abs_investorinformation/.
George
Anderson – Moderator

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