US retailer Albertson’s has announced that it has sold its Northern California division to Save Mart Supermarkets for an undisclosed sum. The company said it expected the deal to be completed in early-2007.

The deal, which was initiated by Save Mart, includes 130 stores, two closed stores, the Roseville and Vacaville distribution centres and the the division office in Dublin, California.

“It is only through the proven talent and hard work of this division that such a strong company would make an unsolicited offer to acquire our entire regional operation,” said Bob Miller, CEO of Albertson’s LLC. “Albertson’s LLC remains committed to making our stores the neighbourhood supermarket of choice in our Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Dallas-Fort Worth and Florida divisions.”

Save Mart said it planned for the stores to continue to trade as Albertsons for six months to a year, after which the stores will be converted to the Save Mart format.