retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that "some of the world's largest buyout firms are preparing offers for Supervalu Inc's Save-A-Lot business, making an outright sale of the U.S. discount grocery chain more likely than a spin-off, according to people familiar with the matter.

Among the private equity groups said to be interested in making a play for Save-A-Lot are Advent International, KKR, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, TPG Capital, Onex Corp and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

An auction is expected to take place in coming weeks, with Save-A-Lot valued at as much as $1.8 billion. The results of the auction will determine whether Supervalu sells the division outright, or spins it off to shareholders.

The story notes that Save-A-Lot operates about 463 stores, with almost 900 additional stores operated by licensees.
KC's View:
I just hope that whatever path Supervalu takes, the result gives new CEO Eric Claus and his team a little bit of breathing room so they can re-energize what became a moribund and largely uncompetitive chain. Just because I like healthy competition, I want to see Save-A-Lot get better and more competitive with the likes of Aldi, and be better positioned to compete with Lidl when it comes to US shores.