U.S. Markets closed

Supervalu shakes up management ahead of sale

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Supermarket operator Supervalu is shaking up some management as it prepares for the sale of five of its grocery chains.

Supervalu will focus on its Save-A-Lot discount stores, as well as its smaller regional chains Cub, Farm Fresh, Shoppers, Shop 'n Save and Hornbacher's, as it tries to turn around its business. The company said Monday that it expects to close on the sale of its Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, and Star Market chains, which combined run about 877 stores, by the week of March 18.

The sale, to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, includes a cash payment of $100 million. The buyers are assuming $3.2 billion in debt, and Cerberus will also offer to buy up to 30 percent of the remaining Supervalu for $4 per share after the deal closes.

Supervalu has struggled for years as competition intensified in the supermarket industry. Analysts have said that the selling off the five chains would help Supervalu improve its profitability.

Supervalu's executive vice president of merchandising, Tim Lowe, and its chief marketing officer, Michael Moore, are leaving after the deal closes. An executive at rival grocery store chain Kroger Co., Mark Van Buskirk, will be Supervalu's executive vice president of merchandising and marketing.

Kevin Holt, the president of Supervalu's retail arm, will leave the company too.

Supervalu Inc. also promoted Albertson's executive Rob Woseth to executive vice president and chief strategy officer. Another former Albertson's executive, Ritchie Casteel, was tapped to serve as president and CEO of Save-A-Lot.

CEO Sam Duncan said he would name more leadership changes soon.

Shares of Supervalu added 2 cents to $3.98 in morning trading.