Start the Acme rumor mill
Acme Markets sold to Cerebrus, Lubert Adler, partners - Updates
POSTED: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 10:37 AM
Ailing Acme Markets, one of the Philadelphia area's largest employers with over 13,000 local workers at more than 100 supermarkets, will be taken over by a group of private equity firms and real estate investors, its owners said this morning.
SuperValu Inc. "announced today a definitive agreement under which it will sell its Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies" for $100 million in cash plus the assumption of $3.2 billion in debt.
Buyers are a group led by former Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management LP and including Kimco Realty Corporation, Klaff Realty LP, Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.
Statement here. Bloomberg story here.
The deal leaves SuperValu as operator of the cut-rate Save-A-Lot stores and several chains in other parts of the company.
Cerebrus already owns hundreds of supermarkets purchased from SuperValu earlier. Lubert-Adler, a nationwide real estate fund, run by Dean Adler and Ira Lubert, invests money for the Pennsylvania state pension funds and other big institutions, and has in the past purchased retail chains (such as the former Mervyn's), cashed out valuable assets, and closed them down.
Nationally, SuperValu has struggled with competition from Wal-Mart and other discounters. Malvern-based Acme, until recent years the largest Philadelphia chain, has been saddled with high transportation costs from its Lancaster County distribution center and increased expenses from its unfunded pension and healthcare committments for its aging workforce and retirees. In recent years Acme has closed stores and ceded local market share to Shop-Rite, Giant and other rivals.
More about Acme's and SuperValu's recent troubles from my Inquirer colleague (and new mom) Maria Panaritis here and here.
Read more: Acme Markets sold to Cerebrus, Lubert Adler, partners - Updates
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