Safeway has said it is in talks with interested party

Safeway has said it is in talks with interested party

Private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is reportedly working on a US$9bn takeover bid for US retail giant Safeway Inc.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday (5 March) reported Cerberus had been hoping to secure a deal by now but could face competition from another US grocer, Kroger.

Cerberus is offering US$40 a share, the WSJ said. However, Kroger is mulling its own bid either for all or part of Safeway, the publication added.

Last month, Safeway admitted it was in talks over a possible sale of the company, although it did not name the interested party.

Cerberus, which has built a food retail business over the last eight years after two deals with Supervalu Inc, has been said to have been in talks with Safeway.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported Kroger had "recently" expressed interest, contacting Safeway - and also Cerberus about a possible deal should the private-equity firm buy the retailer.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said Safeway would prefer to be sold as a whole.

A spokesperson for Cerberus had not returned a request for comment at the time of writing.

Officials at Kroger could not be reached for immediate comment.