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Albertson's Bids Surface: Supervalu/Cerberus Seen Leading

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's board will have a lot to mull over this weekend as it meets to scrutinize the final offers that flowed in yesterday to buy the chain. A flurry of press reports yesterday and early today pointed to the investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, and including Supervalu, as the leader with a bid of $9.6 billion.

Quoting unnamed sources, The New York Times said the Cerberus-led group, which besides Supervalu also includes Kimco Realty, had bid about $26 a share for Albertson's, and seemed to have topped two lower bids from contending consortiums.

One of those potential also-rans is a group consisting of Kolberg, Kravis Roberts and Co., Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management. The other was reportedly Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. Both were said to have put in bids that did not exceed Albertson's current market value.

The New York Times report added that the Kroger Co. might yet emerge as a later bidder. The chain was said by sources to be in talks to join another consortium including Bain Capital, Thomas H. Lee, and Warburg Pincus.

Albertson's had been hoping that a sale would value the retailer at above $25 per share.
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