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SuperValu to restructure to facilitate retail operations sale

U.S.-based food retailer SuperValu Inc. said June 12 that it plans to reorganize the company's corporate structure to become a holding company.

The proposed plan would organize and separate the wholesale and retail operations held by SuperValu Inc., facilitate the sale of certain retail assets, increase the company's strategic flexibility and enable the company to achieve strategic transformation in a tax-efficient manner, SuperValu said. The company has been shifting its focus to its wholesale business since 2016.

SuperValu said the reorganization could generate approximately $300 million of cash tax benefits over the next approximately 15 years. The company will ask its shareholders to approve the reorganization plan at the annual meeting.

The company said in a proxy statement that it plans to undertake a series of transactions to reorganize its various assets and subsidiaries. After all these transactions have taken place, the name of the publicly listed company will continue to be SuperValu Inc. and still trade under the SVU symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

SuperValu has come under pressure in recent months from activist investor Blackwells Capital LLC. In a shareholder proposal, the activist investor has asked for a "more robust disclosure concerning the use of SuperValu's corporate aircraft." In its proxy statement, SuperValu has asked shareholders to reject Blackwells Capital's proposal, calling it "unnecessary" and "administratively burdensome."