The Federal Trade Commission officially approved the merger of Albertsons and Safeway on Tuesday. The companies said that AB Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, planned to finish the acquisition of Safeway in the next five business days.
The merger will bring together two big players in the food retail space, with combined sales of approximately $61.6 billion. In order to get FTC approval, Safeway and Albertsons had previously agreed to divest 168 stores in eight states — 111 from Albertsons and 57 from Safeway — and agreed to settlements with attorneys general in California, Nevada and Washington.
Haggen, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Associated Foods Stores and Supervalu announced plans to purchase the divested stores, with Haggen purchasing 146 stores. The combined company will have approximately 2,200 stores after the divestment, according to an FTC release.
The proposed merger had originally been announced March 2014.
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