Cerberus Capital Management is to buy grocery giant Safeway Inc. and will merge it with another supermarket chain it already owns.
The private-equity firm will pay more than $9 billion for Safeway, the second-largest supermarket chain in the U.S. The deal follows months of talks between the two sides and includes a break-up fee of between $150 million and $250 million, should a higher offer emerge during Safeway’s go-shop period.
Among the potential competitors during that period is Kroger Co., which last year beat out Cerberus for Harris Teeter Supermarkets.
The combined Safeway-Albertsons would have more than 2,400 stores.