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Report: Albertsons mulls another IPO

Albertsons Cos. Inc. is planning to launch an IPO that could value the grocer at $19 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 13, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The owner of Safeway and Jewel-Osco could arrive with a decision in the "coming weeks," the report said. The company is also updating IPO documents it had filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the newspaper said.

Albertsons, which was acquired by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP in 2006, canceled an IPO in April 2018 to merge with publicly traded pharmacy chain Rite Aid Corp. The $24 billion merger, however, was abandoned in August 2018 due to shareholder opposition.

The Journal said Cerberus wants to revive IPO talks in a bid to take advantage of the grocer's improved performance, strong markets and positive economic indicators.

In the year ended February 2019, the newspaper said Albertsons posted $61 billion in sales. The company also had its debt significantly reduced with $8.34 billion in net debt in November 2019, compared to $10.52 billion in the same month in 2018. Albertsons also posted a 2.7% increase in same-store sales during its third-quarter earnings last week, the report added.

Albertsons and Cerberus did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's requests for comment.