U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 43 mins

Supermarket chain Albertsons files for IPO

* Albertsons is owned by Cerberus Capital

* Operates about 2,200 stores, half of which are Safeway stores

* Citi, Morgan Stanley, Goldman, Merrill Lynch are underwriters (Adds analyst comment)

By Neha Dimri

July 8 (Reuters) - Cerberus Capital is listing U.S. grocery store operator Albertsons Cos Inc a year after the private equity firm acquired Safeway and combined the two chains.

Albertsons, the second-largest U.S. grocery chain after Kroger Co, operates more than 2,200 supermarkets, including 1,247 Safeway stores.

The company's other supermarket brands include Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Tom Thumb and United Supermarkets.

The IPO comes at a time when big grocery chains are getting squeezed by mass retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc as well as upscale chains such as Whole Foods Market.

Wal-Mart generated more than half its revenue from grocery sales last year.

"Traditional supermarket chains are in a very challenging position and they need to enhance their differentiation, improve their competitiveness. They have a tough game to win," said Bob Goldin, an executive vice president at foodservice consultancy Technomic.

Albertsons' revenue rose by more than a third to $27.2 billion for the 53 weeks ended Feb 28, but the company posted a net loss of $1.2 billion compared with a profit of $1.7 billion a year earlier.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith are underwriting the IPO, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (http://bit.ly/1Hfv8xF)

The filing contained a nominal fund raising target of $100 million. Albertsons said it planned to use the proceeds from the offering to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or the exchange on which it would list.

(Additional Reporting by Siddarth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)