NEWS WATCH

AMERICAN STORES CO., Salt Lake City, announced it will repurchase 12.2 million shares of its common stock from its largest shareholders, the family of L.S. Skaggs and certain family and charitable trusts, for $45 per share, or $550 million. The company also announced that it had agreed to file a registration statement to enable those shareholders to sell between 14.7 million and 16.4 million additional

AMERICAN STORES CO., Salt Lake City, announced it will repurchase 12.2 million shares of its common stock from its largest shareholders, the family of L.S. Skaggs and certain family and charitable trusts, for $45 per share, or $550 million. The company also announced that it had agreed to file a registration statement to enable those shareholders to sell between 14.7 million and 16.4 million additional shares in a secondary offering as promptly as practicable. Victor L. Lund, chairman and chief executive officer, said the repurchase will be slightly accretive to the company's earnings per share, and will not affect its capital-expenditure program. The company plans to finance the share repurchase initially through bank lines of credit.

e stores opened last year.

THE FOOD MARKETING INSTITUTE, Washington, said an industry-led voluntary effort could readily and effectively address the U.S. Department of Agriculture's concerns about foodborne illness without additional regulation. FMI filed the comments to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service in response to a proposed rule on transportation and storage requirements for potentially hazardous foods.

GROCERY MANUFACTURERS OF AMERICA

environmental affairs director Karil Kochenderfer warned the House Trade Subcommittee last week against favoring a European eco-seal system and instead urged the United States to mandate use of its own system for informing consumers about the environmental impacts of packaging.