SUPERVALU Shops Itself


Supermarket chain operator SUPERVALU (NYS: SVU) -- whose stock is down some 73% over the past 12 months -- has apparently found some interested potential buyers.

In an update of its "strategic review," the company reported this week that "The Company has received a number of indications of interest and is in active dialogue with several parties. There can be no assurance that this process will result in any transaction or any change in the Company's overall structure or its business model."

The same press release reported a year-over-year 2Q net sales decline of 5% and a quarterly net earnings loss of $111 million.

The company owns the Albertsons, Cub Foods, Jewel-Osco, and Save-A-Lot chains.

Investors, who bid the stock up 4.9% yesterday, and have it up another 3.7% as of this writing, are betting management can pull a rabbit out of the hat. It had better act fast. Already, SUPERVALU has had to suspend payments of its quarterly dividend, and cut back on plans to reduce its debt load. With $6.5 billion in debt on its books, and no profits to pay it with, the company's not exactly in fine fiscal fettle to keep operating on its own.

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