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Bloomberg reports that Cerberus Capital Management LP - which owns the Albertsons chain of supermarkets - is said to be the lead bidder for Safeway, which said last week that it is in talks to sell the company.

According to the story, "Cerberus, which owns the Albertsons chain of grocery stores, has been talking to Safeway for months about buying pieces of the retailer or the whole business, said the people. None of Safeway’s other suitors have shown a willingness to pay as much as Cerberus, one of the people said. The New York-based firm can afford to pay more than the other private-equity bidders because it would be able to put the retailer together with Albertsons and get cost savings, the person said."

The story says that at this point, Safeway and Cerberus are "haggling over the price," while other companies - including CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Leonard Green & Partners LP - are deciding whether to get in to a bidding war.
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