Cerberus near deal to buy grocery chain Safeway-source

March 6 Thu Mar 6, 2014 4:46pm EST

March 6 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is close to announcing a deal to acquire U.S. grocer Safeway Inc for more than $9 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The deal, which values Safeway at around $40 per share, could come as early as Thursday afternoon pending final approval from the company's board of directors, the person said, who asked not to be named because the matter is not public.

Reuters first reported on Feb. 21 that Cerberus was in advanced talks to buy Safeway and was trying to finalize an agreement within weeks.

Cerberus declined to comment, while Safeway did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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