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News Briefs for July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

•Following the $9.2 billion merger of grocery giants Albertsons and Safeway by a group led by Cerberus Capital Management in January, the combined entity—operating as Albertsons Cos. Inc.—has filed plans for an initial public offering estimated at a preliminary $100 million. The second-largest U.S. grocery group after Kroger, Albertsons Cos. has 2,200 stores across 33 states, including the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb and other brands. Excluding Safeway, the group’s same-store sales rose 7% in its last fiscal year, while Safeway’s same-store sales growth registered 3% in its own fiscal 2014.

•Hood River Distillers is extending its Pendleton Whisky brand with a higher-proof offering, Pendleton Midnight. The Oregon-based company will introduce Pendleton Midnight—a 90-proof Canadian whisky, compared with the core brand’s 80-proof level—in select markets this September. Midnight, a portion of which is aged in American brandy barrels, is retail-positioned around $35 a 750-ml., while the core Pendleton Whisky is at about $25. Hood River says the newcomer is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks, and is also well-suited to classic cocktails. Pendleton sells more than 150,000 cases annually in the U.S.


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