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Boise-based Albertsons files IPO to go public, again

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An Albertsons IPO? Boise-based grocery giant Albertsons said it would seek to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.

The declaration came in an extensive public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.

The company said in filings it hoped to raise $100 million, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, that number is often used as a placeholder.

“We are proud of the progress we have made over the past few years, and believe we have a long runway for growth ahead of us. At Albertsons, we are just beginning the next chapter in our rich history, and we welcome you to join us on this exciting journey,” company CEO Vivek Sankaran wrote in the prospectus letter. ” I believe we can deliver attractive and improving financial performance, grow market share and increase customer lifetime value through more engaged relationships across our omni-channel platform and loyalty ecosystem.”

[In ecommerce battle, Albertsons looks to small neighborhood warehouses; amps up ‘drive up’ service in Boise area]

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The report, which shows a picture of the newest Albertsons store in Meridian, ID, outlines the company’s strengths – and challenges. It notes increasing revenue and profit in recent years, and its efforts to pay down debt.

The company, as it did during a previous IPO attempt, would be a so-called “controlled company,” which would give more than 50% voting control to a portion of its current owners.

The move comes amidst an overall market slump. A date for the offering of Albertsons, the number of shares, or pricing is not yet known.

Albertsons first launched in Idaho in 1939. Safeway, which it acquired, also started in Idaho, first opened in 1915 in American Falls.

Albertsons maintains its primary headquarters in Boise, and employs hundreds of workers in finance, administration, marketing and other roles. It employs more than 2,500 Idahoans.

Albertsons stores map
A map of Albertsons stores nationwide

The long road to Albertsons’ IPO

A coalition of owners led by Cerberus Capital Management currently controls Albertsons. The private equity firm and its allies purchased a small number of Albertsons stores in 2006. It set up Boise-based Albertsons, LLC – separate from Supervalu, Inc., which purchased the majority of the company’s stores.

Where Supervalu struggled, Albertsons, LLC surged. Seven years later, in 2013, Supervalu sold all its stores to the Cerberus-led group. It later acquired Safeway Inc. and transitioned its back-end systems to that company’s infrastructure to lessen its dependence on Supervalu.

In 2015, Albertsons said it would go public, but dropped the idea late that year after other grocery companies saw weakness on Wall St.

It later tried to acquire Rite Aid, taking the combined company public. But that deal also fell apart.

Albertsons continues to see strengthening results. Last week it reported increased earnings and same-store sales, the latest in a string of rosy reports. It also decreased its debt load – down to $8.34 billion in November, down from $10.52 billion the year before.

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