Albertsons ‘For Sale’ Again
By George Anderson
A report last week in the New York Post said that major shareholder anger over Albertsons’ decision to pass on a $15.7 billion bid for the company has it once again looking
to start negotiations to sell its business.
According to the report, a number of large hedge funds that own shares in the company have threatened to wage a proxy fight to remove board members at the next annual shareholders’
meeting if Albertsons doesn’t take action.
Back in December, Albertsons announced it was taking itself off the block after the board decided it had not received an offer commensurate with the company’s value.
At the time, Albertsons’ CEO Larry Johnston said the exercise had helped the company get a better handle on what it needed to do moving forward. “We did a deep dive into every
area of our business, and we know a lot more about our strengths and our challenges than we ever have before. Armed with this knowledge, we can move forward decisively to make
improvements that will allow us to continue to be one of the nation’s largest and best food and drug retailers,” he said.
Burt Flickinger III, managing director of the Strategic Research Group, told the Idaho Statesman that Albertsons’ change of mind would give “bidders a chance to regroup.” He
expects that will mean higher bids in the new round of negotiations.
Mr. Flickinger doesn’t think it should be assumed that Albertsons will sell the entire company this time around either. It is possible it could simply sell off underperforming
assets, he said.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you think is going on at the top levels of Albertsons? How do company managers keep everyone focused on “business as usual”
with so many rumors and uncertainty surrounding the company? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Food Courted – New York Post (free reg. required)
- New York Post: Albertsons is back on the market – Idaho
- Q&A with Albertsons CEO Larry Johnston – Idaho