Albertsons Gears Up for IPO

200464179-001Albertsons Companies has filed an amended S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its initial public offering (IPO). No terms were given in the filing, but the offering is valued up to $1.84 billion. The company plans to file on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ABS.

The underwriters for this offering are Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Lazard, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Guggenheim, Jefferies, RBC Capital Markets, Wells Fargo, BMO Capital Markets, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Telsey Advisory Group, Academic Securities, Ramirez and Blaylock Beal Van.

This company is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both strong local presence and national scale. As of June 20, 2015, Albertsons operated 2,205 stores across 33 states under 18 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market and Carrs.

Albertsons operates in 121 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the United States is ranked number one or number two by market share in 68% of them. It provides customers with a service-oriented shopping experience, including convenient and value-added services through 1,698 pharmacies and 378 adjacent fuel centers.

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During fiscal 2014 and the first quarter of fiscal 2015 (excluding Safeway), same-store sales grew at 7.2% and 5.1%, respectively. At Safeway, prior to the acquisition, the rate of identical store sales growth was 3.0% in fiscal 2014 and accelerated in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 to 3.8%.

In the filing, the company described its finances as:

For fiscal 2014 on a pro forma basis, we would have generated net sales of $57.5 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $2.4 billion and free cash flow (which we define as Adjusted EBITDA less capital expenditures) of $1.5 billion. For the 12 months ended June 20, 2015, on a pro forma basis, we would have generated net sales of $57.9 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $2.5 billion and free cash flow of $1.7 billion. For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, we generated net sales of $18.1 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $728 million and free cash flow of $513 million. In addition to realizing increased sales, profitability and free cash flow through the implementation of our operating playbook, we expect synergies from the Safeway acquisition to enhance our profitability and free cash flow over the next few years.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay certain existing debt, to pay fees and expenses related to this offering and for general corporate purposes.

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