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Blackwells nominates 6 directors to SuperValu board

Activist investor Blackwells Capital LLC nominated six independent directors to SuperValu Inc.'s board as it campaigns for "real change" in the grocery operator's measures to turn around its underperformance.

The announcement was posted March 22 on www.savesupervalu.com, a website dedicated to the firm's SuperValu announcements.

Blackwells' nominees include Richard Anicetti, former CEO of The Fresh Market and of Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV's Food Lion; Steven Baer, a former executive at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Robert Kreidler, former CFO and executive vice president at Sysco Corp.; Frank Lazaran, former executive at Marsh Supermarkets and Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.; James Martell, director at Mobile Mini Inc. and former director and chairman of the board at XPO Logistics Inc.; and Sandra Taylor, who held executive roles at Starbucks Corp. and Eastman Kodak Co.

In its previous announcement, Blackwells' managing partner Jason Aintabi was to be named as one of the nominees for a board seat, but he was not listed among the candidates in the latest announcement.

The activist fund first disclosed its intention to nominate three candidates to the retailer's board in a Feb. 6 letter to SuperValu as it pushed for the grocer to spin off its retail unit and sell its wholesale division to a strategic buyer.

The grocery chain recently agreed to sell 21 stores of its subsidiary Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy to Kroger Co.'s mid-Atlantic division, Kroger's Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. and Ahold Delhaize's Food Lion LLC for $43 million in total. Blackwells described the move as an "incremental step" in the right direction.

In its latest statement, the firm reaffirmed its plans for Supervalu, including a sale-leaseback of the company's wholesale distribution center real estate, a sale or spin-off of the retail segment, and a sale or merger of its wholesale business to or with a competitor.