Safeway may put itself up for sale

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc., the second-largest grocery store operator in the Washington area, may be sold.

Safeway says it is in discussions about a possible sale of the company, though it didn’t identify any potential buyer or buyers and said it would have no further comment until an agreement is reached.

Safeway is also shedding its gift card business, Blackhawk Network Holdings, by distributing the remaining 37.8 million shares it owns of Blackhawk to Safeway shareholders, following a Blackhawk IPO last year. It also may sell its stake in Casa Ley SA, one of the largest retailers in Mexico.

Safeway reported 2013 sales of $36.1 billion, virtually unchanged from the year earlier.

Safeway (NYSE: SWY) has 1,335 stores in the United States.


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