Supervalu is working with Lazard and Barclays to explore next steps for the wholesaler, including a potential sale. The news sent the stock price up 9.3 percent on Friday. Activist investor Blackwells Capital has nominated six members for the board of directors, which spurred the action.
Blackwell first announced plans to nominate three members to Supervalu’s board, but upped that number to six in March. According to a Reuters report, Blackwells wants Supervalu to consider selling 30 percent of the 217 stores it owns and start paying a dividend as well as begin a share buyback plan.
The news comes less than one month after Supervalu entered into three separate definitive agreements to sell 21 of its 38 Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy stores for about $43 million in cash to three grocers: Food Lion, Harris Teeter and Kroger Mid-Atlantic Division. The retailer-wholesaler also is involved in ongoing discussions and exploring potential deals to sell the remaining Farm Fresh locations to current and prospective wholesale customers and certain Farm Fresh employees.
Additionally, Supervalu last week named David W. Johnson its chief accounting officer. The appointment solidifies his role at the company, which he already held on an interim basis since last July.
Supervalu has been in flux since selling its Save-A-Lot business at the end of 2016 and is in the process of becoming more distribution-focused. Currently, Supervalu is serving a network of more than 3,000 owned, franchised and affiliated stores across the country.