Albertsons borrows cash as ‘precaution’ during COVID-19 pandemic; adds seniors-only hours

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Albertsons Companies reported early this morning it will borrow additional money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday morning, the company said it increased its borrowing level, adding another $2 billion to its balance sheet

“The Company increased its borrowings… as a precautionary measure in order to increase its cash position and preserve financial flexibility in light of current uncertainty in the global markets resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak,” the filing said. “The proceeds… may in the future be used for working capital, general corporate or other purposes permitted by the ABL Facility.”

[What your local grocer is doing to keep up with high demand: “There is no shortage of food”]

ABL Facility is a revolving credit agreement the company first entered into in late 2018.

“While the company, similar to other companies in the grocery industry, has seen a significant increase in sales as a result of consumer response to the COVID-19 outbreak and has not experienced any disruption in its operating activities, on March 12, 2020, the Company provided notice to the lenders to borrow $2.0 billion under the ABL Facility,” the filing said.

Albertsons recently filed its intent to go public, though the confidential filing was made early this year, well ahead of the current market volatility.

New hours for seniors, other vulnerable customers

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Albertsons also announced it would reserve Tuesday and Thursday morning between the hours of 7am and 9am ” for those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries.”

“We are asking that our customers help us reserve this shopping time for those most at risk in our communities,” a company statement said. “We thank our customers in advance for their compassion and understanding toward their neighbors and friends, and in helping us maintain this temporary operations guideline.”

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