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Cerberus given due-diligence extension by Supervalu

5 Nov 2012

Cerberus Capital Management has reportedly been given until mid-November to complete due-diligence on supermarket chain Supervalu.

The firm is understood to be the only private equity firm interested in buying the whole business, with a view to merging its operations with stores run by portfolio company Albertsons, according to Bloomberg.

Buyout giants KKR, TPG Capital and billionaire Ron Burkle were previously reported to be interested in parts of the ailing retail chain.

Supervalu is reported to favour a sale of the entire company, but will consider being taken apart piecemeal if it can fetch a higher price.

A takeover by turnaround investor Cerberus could see the firm take responsibility for hiving off parts of the company itself, with other parties interested in the company’s assets including Dutch retailer Ahold and C&S Wholesale Grocers.

The 135-year-old retail and food logistics company has a network of more than 2,400 stores across the US.

But the chain’s market value has slumped by more than three-quarters since the end of 2010 after competition from discount stores and increased running costs led to losses of more than $2.5bn over the last two financial years.

Cerberus picked up Albertson’s in 2006 alongside Supervalu and other investors, receiving 655 grocery stores.

Supervalue gained more than 1,100 stores and currently runs more than 450 under the Albertsons brand.

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