TEXT-S&P says Safeway ratings unaffected by IPO filing
Sept 5 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc's. announcement that it plans to file a registration statement to do a potential initial public offering (IPO) of a minority stake in Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. (Blackhawk) does not affect our current rating or outlook on Safeway. The Blackhawk business is still relatively small when compared to Safeway's grocery store business. We believe Blackhawk will generate less than 5% of Safeway's EBITDA in 2012. Therefore, we do not believe a sale of a minority stake in Blackhawk would have a significant impact on the company's overall profitability prospects. However, we anticipate that net proceeds will be used to reduced debt.
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