After unloading its Farm Fresh Banner earlier this year, SuperValu might be eyeing another possible sale. According to Reuters, a person familiar with the matter revealed that the retailer is exploring the move following pressure from activist shareholders, including Blackwells Capital LLC.
The inside source, who asked Reuters not to identify them due to the matter still being confidential, said that the company is working with investment banks Lazard Ltd and Barclays Plc as it explores its options.
Blackwells called for the sale of around 30 percent of its stores, the divestment of several real estate holdings, and a “refreshment” of its leadership last October, as well as an outline for four potential initiatives to reposition SuperValu and “unlock value.”
In February, SuperValu outlined a series of strategic goals and initiatives highlighting the success of its wholesale operations in response to investor criticism.
The retailer’s shares were up 9.3 percent at $16.75 on Friday, when the source spoke with Reuters, giving the company a market capitalization of $643 million.
As we previously reported, SuperValu recently sold several Farm Fresh locations to Kroger and Ahold chains, with intentions to pursue selling the 17 that remained. Having been reluctant to shed the stores it owns despite its focus on growing its distribution side, it will be interesting to see where these talks take SuperValu as it explores sale options.
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