Agreement Reached for Sale of 59 Safeway Stores
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) _ Furr’s Inc., Safeway Stores Inc. and the Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement Friday clearing the way for Furr’s to buy 59 Safeway stores for $140 million.
Previously, the FTC had moved to block Furr’s purchase of Safeway’s El Paso division, a network comprised of 59 grocery stores and other facilities in Texas and New Mexico.
Commission officials said earlier this month the proposed purchase would substantially reduce competition among grocery stores in West Texas and New Mexico.
The consent order announced Friday permits Furr’s, a Lubbock-based grocery chain, to acquire the El Paso division, provided it sells 12 stores in New Mexico and Texas, said Jan U. Friederich, chief executive officer of Furr’s.
The sale was for $140 million, said Susan Tichnor of the FTC’s Washington office. Safeway and Furr’s officials would not confirm the amount of the sale.
Safeway went private in a $4.2 billion leveraged buyout last year.
The transaction should be complete by Oct. 31, subject to an agreement to hold separate certain assets of the El Paso division until the 12 stores have been sold, officials for Furr’s and Safeway said.
″We intend to sell the 12 stores as quickly as possible,″ Friederich said. The sale would take place after the transaction is completed in October.
He said Furr’s plans to consider hiring Safeway employees.
Stores to be divested in New Mexico are located in Alamogordo, Artesia, Clovis, Espanola, Hobbs, Las Vegas, Lovington, Portales, Roswell and Silver City. Stores in Fort Stockton and Pecos, Texas, also will be sold by Furr’s.
Furr’s currently operates 105 stores in West Texas and New Mexico.