The sale of Albertson’s Inc is apparently to close.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, an investment group of Cerberus Capital, Kimco Realty Corp and Minnesota supermarket chain Supervalu Inc is about to buy the US grocer for around US$9.6 billion.

The Journal did not cite a source in its report.

The deal would come after three months of speculation since Albertson’s board of directors said in September it was exploring strategic alternatives to increase shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company.

Albertson’s said it would not comment beyond what had been said in September.

In November, Albertson’s reported a fall in net earnings for its third quarter to US$81m. In the prior year’s third quarter, earnings from continuing operations totalled US$107m.