In a marriage grocer heavyweights, Safeway (SWY) and Albertsons have agreed to a merger, creating a new retail behemoth with 250,000 employees and 2,400 locations. Prior to the announced merger, Safeway had been the second-biggest grocer in the United States, and Albertsons was the fifth largest. However, even the combined might of these two companies isn’t enough to unseat The Kroger Co. (KR) as the nation’s largest chain. For the deal, Albertsons’ owner, Cerberus Capital Management, agreed to pay $40 a share for Safeway stock. SWY shares closed yesterday at $39.48 and have dropped slightly on the news today. But before rushing off to get a cartload of this new business’ shares, take a moment to see if Kroger makes a counter offer for Safeway — stay tuned.
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