Safeway, Inc.'s Leveraged Buyout (A)
After years of deteriorating financial performance and eroding market position, Safeway, Inc., the largest public grocery store chain in the United States, found itself the target of a hostile takeover offer. Management decided to take the company private in a $4.3 billion leveraged buyout sponsored by Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts. This case begins with the controversy surrounding Safeway's sale of its Dallas division as a result of the LBO and retraces the events leading up to the LBO. Continues with a discussion of the challenges facing management in restructuring the company--including the renegotiation of uncompetitive labor contracts and the intense pressure from the capital markets (through hostile takeover offers) to relinquish control of the company.
- 1994 HBS
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