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Sobeys sells 30 stores in Western Canada

Sobeys on Thursday said it has agreed to sell 30 stores in Western Canada to three different retailers for about $392 million (U.S.).

The 30-store total is seven more than Sobeys had agreed to divest to meet Competition Bureau requirements related to its acquisition last year of Safeway Canada.

Read more: Sobeys completes Safeway acquisition


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The stores include 15 locations in British Columbia and Alberta being sold to Vancouver, B.C.-based Overwaitea Group; 14 in Saskatechwan, Manitoba and Alberta to Federated Co-operatives Ltd. on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System; and one Price Chopper store to an unidentified buyer. In addition to the one Price Chopper, 25 of the stores are Safeways, three are Thrifty Foods and one is an IGA.

The annual sales from these stores total about $630 million, with EBITDA of $54 million.

Sobeys said it agreed to include an additional seven stores in British Columbia in the package to be acquired by Overwaitea in order to meet the requirements of both companies.

Read more: Sobeys must divest 23 stores

Both the Overwaitea and Co-op agreements have received approval from the Competition Bureau, and Sobeys said it anticipates the deals will close in March or early April. The sale of the Price Chopper location remains subject to finalization of an asset purchase agreement with the purchaser and approval from the Competition Bureau.

Sobeys, which is owned by Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Empire Cos., said it would use the proceeds from the sales to pay down debt.

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