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Safeway Stores to Merge with Kroger?

Safeway, with dozens of stores in Maryland, is likely to be purchased by a competitor. The question is which one.

Safeway, with dozens of stores in Maryland, is likely to be purchased by a competitor. The question is which one. File|Patch
Safeway, with dozens of stores in Maryland, is likely to be purchased by a competitor. The question is which one. File|Patch

The country’s largest grocer, Kroger Co., may try to buy all or part of the second-biggest grocery chain, Safeway Inc., which has dozens of stores across Maryland.

The merger may be the only way for the two large grocers to compete against the nation's largest seller of groceries, Walmart, says the Wall Street Journal.

Safeway was the second-largest grocer in Greater Baltimore with 14.7 percent market share as of March 2013, reports the Baltimore Business Journal. Kroger in January completed a $2.5 billion acquisition of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc.

Whether Kroger, with no presence yet in Maryland, ends up with a chunk of Safeway remains to be seen. The Wall Street Journal says the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which also owns Albertsons, has a Safeway buyout in the works.

Cerberus is still seen as the likely buyer for Safeway due in part to the antitrust issues involved with a Kroger combination, the newspaper reports.

But those antitrust concerns might be lessened as Walmart and Target join in the grocery business.

J Leland March 07, 2014 at 08:48 AM
Update your story- a deal with Cerberus has been announced.

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