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SUPERVALU Announces Leadership Changes & Taps Van Buskirk to Lead Private Brands

\"supervaluMinneapolis, Minnesota based SUPERVALU announced yesterday several changes to its executive and banner retail leadership teams, as it continues preparations to move forward with a focus on serving wholesale grocery operators, growing its hard discount format and running a smaller, more efficient retail operation following the close of its previously announced transaction with AB Acquisition LLC. That transaction is expected to be completed the week of March 18, 2013.

The announcement includes additions to SUPERVALU’s corporate leadership team as well as new presidents at Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘N Save. There will be additional announcements in the coming weeks as new president and chief executive officer Sam Duncan continues to finalize his leadership team.

Corporate Leadership Changes
Mark Van Buskirk has been named executive vice president, merchandising and marketing for SUPERVALU, where he will be responsible for overseeing companywide retail merchandising and marketing efforts, along with directing SUPERVALU’s Private Brand offerings and retail pharmacy teams. He spent the past 20 years in leadership positions with Kroger, most recently serving as vice president, meat and seafood merchandising and procurement.

Rob Woseth has been named executive vice president, chief strategy officer. In addition to overseeing real estate and corporate development, Woseth will focus on identifying strategic growth opportunities that support independent grocers, as well as working with banner leadership to build and maximize the company’s traditional and discount retail businesses. He spent the past 10 years in business development, strategy and leadership positions with Albertsons Inc. and Albertsons LLC.

Steve Fox has joined SUPERVALU in the role of senior vice president, food merchandising, reporting to Van Buskirk. He comes to SUPERVALU after spending 41 years in retail leadership positions with Fred Meyer, a division of Kroger. During his tenure with Fred Meyer, Fox spent 10 years as vice president of produce merchandising/procurement and 11 years as vice president of grocery merchandising/procurement.

All three appointments are effective immediately.

Casteel Named President and CEO at Save-A-Lot
Duncan also announced a leadership change at the company’s hard discount retail chain, appointing Ritchie Casteel as president and CEO of Save-A-Lot, effective immediately. Ritchie has more than 40 years of experience in retail, including over 30 years in a variety of leadership positions with the original Albertsons Inc, where he finished his tenure as vice president of operations for Albertsons’ Intermountain West Division.

Casteel also served as director of sales and operations for Grocery Outlet from 2005-2009 where he worked closely with independent owner operators to improve sales, margin, shrink, marketing, expense controls and financial balance. Casteel replaces Santiago Roces who will remain with the company over the next several weeks to assist Casteel in ensuring a smooth and efficient transition.

Banner Presidents Announced
Following the transaction, SUPERVALU will retain five strong regional retail banners: CUB Foods based in Minnesota; Hornbacher’s in North Dakota; Farm Fresh in Virginia; Shop ‘N Save in St. Louis; and Shoppers in Baltimore/Washington DC. Together these banners operate 191 traditional retail grocery stores and represent slightly more than 25 percent of the company’s anticipated revenues after the banner sale is complete. The five banner presidents will report directly to Duncan and serve on his leadership team.

Those appointments include:

  • Eric Hymas has been named president of Shop ‘N Save, replacing Marlene Gebhard who will remain with the company over the next several weeks to assist Hymas in ensuring a smooth and efficient transition. Hymas most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for SUPERVALU, which included responsibility for all categories across center store, as well as beverages, fuel and convenience, and fresh departments. Hymas has more than 30 years of experience in grocery retail having started his career in an Albertsons store in Idaho Falls, ID.
  • Bill Parker has been named president, Farm Fresh, after serving for the past seven months in the role of interim president. His appointment is effective immediately.
  • Brian Audette will continue as president of CUB Foods.
  • Matt Leiseth will continue as president of Hornbacher’s.
  • Bob Bly will continue as president of Shoppers.

Commenting on today’s announcement Duncan said, “We have much work to do, both today, and after the transaction closes, but I am pleased with the new leadership team we are assembling and know together we will work tirelessly to improve our business and increase shareholder value. I am energized by what I have seen every day and believe this company will be successful going forward.”

Departures from SUPERVALU
Duncan will name additional members of his leadership team in the near future. Today’s announcement also includes news of several current executives who will depart the company upon completion of the transaction. They include:

  • Kevin Holt – president, SUPERVALU Retail
  • Tim Lowe – executive vice president, merchandising
  • Michael Moore – executive vice president and chief marketing officer

“I thank Kevin for his leadership over our retail teams, as well as Tim and Michael for the work they have done leading our retail merchandising and marketing efforts, respectively,” said Duncan. “They have helped ready the business for the future and I appreciate all they have done to ensure a smooth transition. I wish each of them well with their future endeavors.”

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Supervalu

SUPERVALU Sells Five Grocers to Cerberus-Led Investor Group

\"SupervaluBeleaguered Minneapolis-based grocer and distributor SUPERVALU announced today a definitive agreement under which it will sell its Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies (collectively, the “Banners”) to AB Acquisition LLC (“AB Acquisition”), an affiliate of a Cerberus Capital Management L.P. (“Cerberus”)-led investor consortium which also includes Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE: KIM), Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners and Schottenstein Real Estate Group, in a transaction valued at $3.3 billion.

It remains to be seen how this will impact the Supervalu owned Private Brands and the recent portfolio optimization and consolidation that led to the introduction of Essential Everyday.

“We are pleased to be making this investment and look forward to helping build long-term value for all stakeholders”

The sale will consist of the acquisition by AB Acquisition of the stock of New Albertsons, Inc. (“NAI”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SUPERVALU, which owns the Banners, for $100 million in cash (the “Sale”). NAI will be sold to AB Acquisition subject to approximately $3.2 billion in debt, which will be retained by NAI. As part of the transaction, which includes 877 stores across the Banners, AB Acquisition-owned Albertson’s LLC will reunite its Albertson’s stores with the acquired NAI Albertsons stores.

In addition to the Sale, within ten business days of today, a newly-formed acquisition entity owned by a Cerberus-led investor consortium (“Symphony Investors”) will conduct a tender offer for up to 30 percent of SUPERVALU’s outstanding common stock at a purchase price of $4.00 per share in cash (the “Tender Offer”). The Tender Offer represents a 50 percent premium to SUPERVALU’s thirty-day average closing share price as of January 9, 2013, and provides SUPERVALU’s shareholders with the opportunity to maintain an equity stake in SUPERVALU moving forward.

In the event that Symphony Investors does not obtain at least 19.9 percent of the outstanding shares of SUPERVALU common stock pursuant to the Tender Offer, SUPERVALU will be obligated to issue new shares of common stock to Symphony Investors (the “Issuance”) at the Tender Offer price such that after giving effect to the Tender Offer and the Issuance, Symphony Investors would own a number of shares representing at least 19.9 percent of SUPERVALU’s outstanding common stock prior to the Issuance. SUPERVALU also will have the option to issue to Symphony Investors additional new shares of SUPERVALU common stock at the Tender Offer price (the “Optional Issuance”), subject to (i) an overall cap of $250 million on Symphony Investors purchase of common stock pursuant to the Tender Offer, the Issuance and the Optional Issuance (collectively, the “Tender Offer Process”) and (ii) a total issuance of primary common shares of not more than 19.9 percent.

The transactions described above are subject to customary closing conditions, including the fully underwritten refinancing of certain SUPERVALU debt as described below. The closing of the Sale is also conditioned on among other things, the satisfaction of the conditions to the Tender Offer Process, and the closing of Symphony Investors acquisition of SUPERVALU common stock pursuant to the Tender Offer Process is conditioned on, among other things, closing of the Sale. Closing of the Sale and the Tender Offer Process (together the “Transactions”) is expected to occur in the first calendar quarter of 2013. The Transactions are not subject to shareholder approval.

\"Sam

Management and Governance
Following the closing of the Transactions, SUPERVALU will be headed by grocery retail veteran Sam Duncan, as President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing current President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Wayne Sales. In addition, effective upon the closing of the transactions, five current SUPERVALU directors will resign. Immediately following the closing of the transactions, the size of the Board will be reduced to seven members from the current ten members. This seven member Board will consist of five current SUPERVALU directors and two Board members designated by Symphony Investors, one of whom is Robert Miller, current President and CEO of Albertson’s LLC, who will serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board. Following the completion of a search process, the Board will be increased to a size of eleven directors, with the four new directors to consist of (i) Sam Duncan, (ii) an additional director appointed by Symphony Investors, and (iii) two additional independent Board members to be selected by the initial seven directors.

The New SUPERVALU
Following the Sale, SUPERVALU will consist of the Independent Business, a leading food wholesaler which serves 1,950 stores across the country; Save-A-Lot, the largest hard discount grocery chain in the United States, with approximately 1,300 stores; and SUPERVALU’s leading regional retail food banners Cub, Farm Fresh, Shoppers, Shop ‘n Save and Hornbacher’s. As such, SUPERVALU is expected to generate annual revenues in excess of $17 billion. Key elements of SUPERVALU’s go-forward business plan include continued focus on right-sizing operations and maximizing efficiencies across the Company.

SUPERVALU and AB Acquisition also will enter into a Transition Services Agreement pursuant to which the parties will provide each other with various services.

\"Bob

Financing
In connection with the Transactions, SUPERVALU has negotiated a new and fully underwritten $900 million asset based revolving credit facility led by Wells Fargo and a $1.5 billion term loan secured by a portion of the Company’s real estate and an equity pledge of Moran Foods, LLC (the parent entity of the Save-A-Lot business) led by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays. The proceeds of these financings will be used to replace the existing $1.65 billion asset-based revolving credit facility, the existing $846 million term loan, and to call and refinance $490 million of 7.5 percent bonds scheduled to mature in November 2014.

Successful Culmination of Strategic Review Process; Ongoing SUPERVALU Operations Better Positioned for Future
In commenting on the definitive agreement, Mr. Sales said: “The transactions announced today represent the successful culmination of the in-depth strategic review process we commenced this past summer. Following the Sale, SUPERVALU will have three strong, market-leading business units with more consistent cash flows and improved EBITDA growth potential. Symphony Investors\’ tender offer provides our shareholders with an attractive premium to recent trading values of our shares and they will acquire an equity stake in a newly refocused SUPERVALU with solid long-term prospects. At the same time, the stores being sold to AB Acquisition are complementary to Albertson’s LLC’s current operations, which are focused primarily on traditional retail grocery.”

Mr. Duncan said: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead SUPERVALU. The Company has very solid market positions and I see great potential in our ability to successfully build on each of these three core businesses.” Duncan continued, “The Independent Business is one of the largest food wholesalers in the United States, serving many of the country’s most successful independent operators. Save-A-Lot is the nation’s largest hard discount grocer, providing the Company an important presence in this fast growing segment of food retail. Additionally, the Company’s streamlined retail operation consists of five strong regional banners. I’m looking forward to working with SUPERVALU’s team members to quickly and effectively improve the Company’s business.”

Mr. Miller said: “As Chairman of SUPERVALU’s reconstituted Board, working closely with Sam Duncan and the SUPERVALU management team, we will focus on strengthening the Company’s market leading positions and delivering compelling value to our shareholders. Sam, whom I had the pleasure of working with at Fred Meyer, is an extremely talented retail executive, with more than 40 years of experience in retail, including turnarounds. He is well positioned to build upon the foundation Wayne Sales laid for improved performance. In addition, the acquisition by Symphony Investors of up to 30 percent of the Company is a strong vote of confidence in the future of SUPERVALU. I share their strong belief in the Company’s future potential.”

“We are pleased to be making this investment and look forward to helping build long-term value for all stakeholders,” said Lenard Tessler, Co-Head of Global Private Equity and Senior Managing Director at Cerberus. “We believe these transactions will create stronger, more competitive businesses.”

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Supervalu

Supervalu Launches Limited Edition Stoneridge Creamery Ice Creams

\"\"Minneapolis based grocer and distributor Supervalu announced the launch of two new flavors in its latest limited edition Private Brand Stoneridge Creamery ice creams: Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Peppermint Cookies \’n Cream. Customers can scoop them up for approximately the next six months in most of Supervalu\’s stores as well as in independent grocery stores served through Supervalu \’s Independent Business division

\”Stoneridge Creamery ice cream is a top-quality family favorite, known for both its regular and unique flavors,\” said Sam Mayberry, Supervalu \’s vice president of private brands. \”Our summer limited- edition flavors, Strawberry Lemonade and Harvest Peach, were a tremendous hit with customers. And, we\’re excited and confident that they\’ll have the same reaction to Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Peppermint Cookies \’n Cream, and will want to include them in their holiday dessert menus.\”

Cinnamon Snickerdoodle features creamy cinnamon ice cream with a cinnamon snickerdoodle cookie swirl. In Peppermint Cookies \’n Cream, pieces of real peppermint candy give a crunchy and exciting pop to the traditional Cookies \’n Cream flavor.

All Stoneridge Creamery products (including ice cream novelties such as bars, cones and sandwiches) contain premium ingredients and are created in Supervalu \’s test kitchens. They\’re sold in many of SUPERVALU\’s traditional retail banners including Acme, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher\’s, Jewel-Osco, Shaw\’s, Star Market, Shop \’N Save and Shoppers; they\’re also available at Supervalu supplied stores.

Customers can also anticipate that new Stoneridge Creamery ice cream flavors will be introduced in spring 2013. Until then, customers can enjoy Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Peppermint Cookies \’n Cream for the next six months and over 40 traditional and unique flavors sold year round, including Salted Caramel, Banana Split, Pistachio and Java Delight Coffee Toffee Crunch.

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Private Brands Star in Everyday with Rachel Ray

\"\"Minnesota based grocer and distributor Supervalu announced today on it’s Wild Harvest Facebook feed that the Private Brand was featured in the lifestyle magazine Everyday with Rachel Ray. Wild Harvest Organic Unsalted Butter was named the “Best Unsalted Stick” in the November 2012 Issue of EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY at RachaelRaymag.com.

Taste Test: The Best Butte
We sampled more than 60 sticks and tubs of butter (straight off a spoon, people!), and we\’re giving these 10 (five winners and five runner-ups) some serious pats on the back.

Best Unsalted Stick
Wild Harvest Organic Unsalted Butter: Organic and economical — a rare combination — this stick is slightly tangy, and ultra-creamy. \”With a pure flavor and no salt, it\’s the best choice for baking: Think holiday cookies!\” said one taster. ($5.26 for 1 lb.)

Runner-Up: Trader Joe\’s Organic Unsalted Butter ($4.79 for 1 lb., or $.30 per oz.)

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Supervalu

Supervalu Features Everyday Essentials in Top Chef Recipes

\"\"Minneapolis based grocer Supervalu’s Private Brand Essential Everyday is featured several recipes by Antonia Lofaso, mom, author and contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Supervalu has worked with the celebrity since the launch of Everyday Essentials. Antonia Lofaso introduced the expanded Essential Everyday brand lineup at a blogger event held in New York City in June. “As a working mom, I know firsthand the challenges of juggling work and home life, and how hard it is to find the time to make a nutritious, home-cooked meal that your kids will actually like,” Lofaso said. “In my new book, ‘The Busy Mom’s Cookbook,’ coming out in August, I include some simple tips for getting organized as well as a list of must- have pantry essentials. With the wide variety of Essential Everyday offerings, there’s so much you can do to prepare a quick, easy, nutritious meal that your whole family is sure to enjoy.”

“We’ve been very pleased with customers’ initial response to Essential Everyday. Consumers continue to look for products that exceed their expectations in the areas of affordable value. Our Essential Everyday brand does just that,” said Sam Mayberry, Supervalu vice president of private brands. “In addition to providing high-quality products at a great value, we’re focused on building customer loyalty for Essential Everyday and our other private brands by continuously innovating and bringing fresh ideas to our brand lineups.”

Three Bean Chili by Antonia Lofaso
READY IN: 25 MINUTES
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES
Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Essential Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Essential Everyday Crushed Tomatoes
  •  2 (10 ounce) cans Essential Everyday Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Essential Everyday Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Essential Everyday Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Essential Everyday Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) packet Essential Everyday Original Chili Seasoning Mix
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

Directions

  • In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers; sauté until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.