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Albertsons announces IPO date and initial price

Tamarack Summer
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Albertsons Companies will return to life as a public company next week.

It will return the Boise-based grocery giant to Wall Street for the first time in more than 15 years, and give a group of investors that bought a series of underperforming stores in the late-2000s a long-sough way to monetize their bet.

The company now says it will sell 50-million shares of stock, priced at $16 each. That could net as much as $800-million for the investor group, led by Cerberus Capital Management.

The stock will start trading tomorrow – June 26th, according to a news release.

A lower price

The company changed its mind from just last week, when it said it would sell 65.8 million shares at between $18 and $20. The new pricing strategy will value the company at less than $10 billion – under the value Apollo Global Management bought a 17.5% piece of the company for earlier this month.

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Paddles Up Poke

The change fetches less than Albertsons hoped to get on the market after a series of strong initial public offerings in recent months.

The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ACI – for Albertsons Companies Inc.

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.

The company saw booming results in the wake of the pandemic, with revenue increasing, and the hiring of 55,000 additional employees 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.

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