Supervalu says sale talks ongoing with several parties

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:13pm EST

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(Reuters) - Supervalu (SVU.N) said it remains in talks with several parties, after its shares slumped more than 18 percent on a Thursday report that Cerberus Capital Management was having difficulty obtaining financing to buy out the troubled grocery chain.

Supervalu, in a statement, said it is in "active discussion with several parties," but it remains uncertain whether the talks will result in any transaction, or change in overall structure or business model.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Thursday that potential lenders were concerned about Supervalu's ability to manage its debt load.

Reuters reported last month that buyout firm Cerberus was preparing a takeover bid for Supervalu, the third-largest U.S. supermarket chain.

If Supervalu does not sell to Cerberus, it may have to restructure on its own or sell off individual assets, which could have big tax consequences, Bloomberg said.

Cerberus officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

Shares of Supervalu closed down 18.6 percent at $2.28.

Supervalu announced in July it was working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Greenhill & Co Inc (GHL.N) to explore strategic alternatives.

(This story has been corrected to fix spelling of Supervalu in second paragraph)

(Reporting By Olivia Oran, additional reporting by Lynn Adler; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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