SALT LAKE CITY -- Industry watchers do not expect American Stores Co. here to significantly change its course following its repurchase of 12.2 million shares from L.S. (Sam) Skaggs and members of his family this week.
ilable to the public in a secondary offering at a price that will be determined at the time of the offering.
The repurchase and secondary offering will close a long chapter in the history of American Stores, during which Skaggs, the company's onetime chairman and chief executive officer, built it into the nation's third-largest supermarket operation.
Industry observers told SN that the sale by Skaggs of his holdings is unlikely to have any significant effect on American Stores' operations.
"Vic Lund [American's chairman and CEO] and his team have been running the show there for several years, while Sam has been more of an active bystander," Jonathan Ziegler, a San Francisco-based securities analyst with Salomon Bros., New York, said. "But Skaggs appointed Lund, and American has Skaggs to thank for getting the company humming again."
Another analyst said Skaggs has had only a minor influence on American's operations for the past few years. However, Gary Giblen, managing director of Smith Barney, New York, said Skaggs has been "an agitator for change for the past several years, and now that will cease."