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Albertsons, the second largest supermarket operator in the US, said on Friday that it once again will try to go public, and has filed the necessary paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Albertsons "unveiled its paperwork to go public after spending more than a decade under its private-equity backer, Cerberus Capital Management LP."  It said that "it hadn’t determined the number of shares or the price range for its offering."

From the Journal story:

"Cerberus is looking to cash out of an investment in Albertsons it made nearly 15 years ago. The private-equity firm bought about 650 Albertsons stores in 2006 and another 900 stores in 2013. Two years later, it combined Albertsons with Safeway Inc., creating a behemoth second in size to Kroger Co. among supermarket operators. Walmart Inc., which sells groceries alongside many other goods, is the nation’s top food seller.

"After the Safeway merger, Albertsons considered going public in 2015 before scrapping that effort due to lackluster performance of retail stocks that year. Three years later, Albertsons agreed to go public by acquiring most of Rite Aid Corp. in a $24 billion merger. The two dropped the deal after investors protested pushed back on the plan.

"Founded in 1939, Albertsons operates 2,260 stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia. The company generated more than $60.5 billion of net sales in fiscal 2018, according to filings with the SEC."

KC's View:

I'm not a broker or much of a stock market expert, but it is hard for me to imagine that this is a great moment to launch an IPO - after all, the market's value has dropped more than 10 percent in just the past week or so.

But … specific timing has not been announced, so maybe the idea is to lay the foundation now, and then starting building the IPO structure once the market stabilize.