Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway confirmed negotiations are underway when it released fourth quarter results Feb. 19.
It did not name a potential buyer. Reuters reports Cerberus Capital Management LP is in talks with the company. Interest from Cerberus and other buyout firms was first reported in October.
“Although the discussions are ongoing, the company has not reached an agreement on a transaction, and there can be no assurance that these discussions will lead to an agreement or a completed transaction,” Robert Edwards, Safeway president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
Safeway reported net fourth quarter earnings of $100 million, down from $170.7 million in 2012.
In October Safeway announced plans to leave the Chicago market, where it operated 72 Dominick’s stores, in early 2014. In November, the company sold Canada Safeway to Sobey’s Inc. for $5.8 billion.
Safeway said Feb. 19 it will distribute its remaining 37.8 million shares in Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. — its gift card provider — to shareholders. Safeway also said it’s exploring alternatives to its 49% stake in Mexico retailer Casa Ley.