Retail

Albertsons Pulls IPO Plan

Albertsons

Due to its deal to merge with Rite Aid, Albertsons is withdrawing its plan for an initial public offering (IPO).

The grocer said its IPO registration statement had not been declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), MarketWatch reported. That statement had been last amended in November and, as of that time, the company had not set the terms of its IPO.

The news comes after Albertsons put its IPO on hold last summer, as it struggled to get its same-store sales back into the black. Same-store sales had dropped into the negative in fiscal 2016 and didn't recover in the summer of 2017. It didn’t do Albertsons any favors that  between the popularity of grocery pick-up and delivery services, cheap groceries at Walmart, and the debut of German discounter Lidl in the U.S. — grocery stores were in an all-out price war.

The company’s plan was to go public by the end of 2017 and relaunch with a narrower price range, tapping investors who had shown interest back in 2015. It also hoped to expand its natural and organic offerings.

But all of that was before Amazon bought Whole Foods. Between that, Albertsons’ own slipping financials and uninspiring stock performance by its closest rival, Kroger, stakeholders doubted in 2017 that the company could reach the $12.4 billion valuation it targeted in 2015. Not to mention that Albertsons spent last April and May trying to negotiate a deal for Whole Foods, only to have the organic giant join forces with Amazon instead.

In 2015, Alberstons announced plans to raise as much as $100 million for its IPO, The Wall Street Journal had reported. This move came after it acquired Safeway for $9.4 billion, which caused the company to sell other stores to abide to regulatory measures. Still, it’s managed to keep its title as the second-largest grocery-store chain, falling only behind Kroger.

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