Following the postponement of Haggen's long-awaited auction -- in which the Bellingham, Wash.-based grocer seeks to sell off its remaining stores in the wake of a disastrous expansion plan and an ultimate dismantling -- it's been reported that Albertsons may buy Haggen's 33 "core" locations.
According to a statement from United Food and Commercial International Local 367, which represents Haggen employees, the Federal Trade Commission has approved the deal and the two retailers are in the process of finalizing the agreement.
“It appears that other bidders are not going to raise their bids or otherwise make them qualified bids, so the scheduled auction is cancelled and the sale to Albertsons will be put before the court for approval in the next week,” the statement reads. Neither Haggen nor Albertsons has confirmed the deal.
As PG previously reported, Haggen first announced plans to divest its remaining core stores last November, although the auction of the locations has since been rescheduled multiple times.
“This news will hopefully end the uncertainty for our members and our communities. Our members look forward to continuing their unparalleled dedication to the neighborhoods and their customers,” the statement continued.
Following Haggen's acquisition of 146 stores in the wake of the Albertsons-Safeway merger in January 2015, Haggen and Albertsons have been locked in a tumultuous relationship, which includes a lawsuit against Haggen over an unpaid inventory agreement, as well as a $1 billion suit against Albertsons, in which Haggen accused the company of coordinated sabotage to eliminate its competition.
Haggen officially declared bankruptcy in September 2015.