Safeway admits talks over possible - but declines to disclose interested party

Safeway admits talks over possible - but declines to disclose interested party

US retail giant Safeway has revealed it is in talks over a possible sale of the company.

Safeway said today (19 February) said the discussions are "ongoing" but did not disclose the name of the interested party.

"Although the discussions are ongoing, the company has not reached an agreement on a transaction, and there can be no assurance that these discussions will lead to an agreement or a completed transaction," Safeway said. "The company will not comment further on these discussions at this time."

Reuters reported private-equity firm Capital Management is in talks with Safeway about a possible deal.

Safeway's shares were up 3.58% at US$35.85 in after-hours trading.

Meanwhile, Safeway said it is looking to sell its 49% stake in Mexican retailer Casa de Ley.

Safeway has also decided to distribute the remaining 37.8m shares it owns of prepaid payment provider Blackhawk Network Holdings, around 72.2% of the outstanding shares in the company to its stockholders.

The grocer also reported net earnings from continuing operations of US$100m, or $0.35 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $170.7m ($0.71 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter of 2012.

The fourth quarter of 2013 included a $57.4m loss on foreign currency translation, a $30.0m loss from the impairment of notes receivable and a $9.7m gain from the reduction of a contingent consideration related to Blackhawk's acquisition of Cardpool.

The fourth quarter of 2012 includes a $46.5m gain from legal settlements.

Sales and other revenue was $11.3bn, compared to $11.2bn a year earlier. Identical-store sales, excluding fuel, were up 1.6%.