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[KHTS] – Two Vons grocery store locations in the Santa Clarita Valley are set to be sold by Safeway Inc. to the Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen pending approval by the Federal Trade Commission.

Located on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus and McBean Parkway in Valencia, the stores are scheduled to be converted to Haggen stores in 2015, along with 144 other Albertsons, Vons and Safeway stores across five states.

Photo: MerloneGeier Partners

Photo: MerloneGeier Partners

“With this pivotal acquisition, we will have the opportunity to introduce many more customers to the Haggen experience,” said John Caple, chairman of the Hagen board of directors. “Our Pacific Northwest grocery store chain has been committed to local sourcing, investing in the communities we serve and providing genuine service and homemade quality since it was founded in 1933.”

The sale is part of the divestment process brought about by the FTC’s review of the proposed merger between AB Acquisition LLC (Albertsons) and Safeway Inc., which is expected to close in January 2015, according to officials.

AB Acquisition LLC and Safeway Inc. have entered into agreements to sell a total of 168 stores across eight states to four buyers in order to secure FTC clearance of the merger.

“We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway,” said Safeway President and CEO Robert Edwards.

While the buyers are set to acquire the stores, equipment and inventory, they intend to hire most, if not all, current store employees, according to an Albertsons news release.

“We warmly welcome these new employees and stores into the Haggen family,” said John Clougher, Haggen’s Pacific Northwest CEO. “We want to retain these existing teams while allowing our growing company to build on their past successes.”

With the acquisition, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies in Oregon and Washington to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2015, and Haggen officials are planning to convert all of the acquired stores to the Haggen banner during the first six months of 2015.

“We committed to this acquisition because we knew we had the experience, talent and drive to get it done,” Caple said. “The strength of our management and store support teams, combined with the talent of the store teams at each of the new store locations, will enable Haggen to be a successful West Coast grocer.”

 

Press release: Haggen to Expand from 18 Stores to 164 Stores with Major Acquisition

Bellingham, Wash. (December 19, 2014) – Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 146 stores as part of the divestment process brought about by the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) review of the Albertson’s LLC and Safeway merger. With this acquisition, which remains subject to FTC approval, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a Pacific Northwest company with locations in Oregon and Washington to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

“With this pivotal acquisition, we will have the opportunity to introduce many more customers to the Haggen experience. Our Pacific Northwest grocery store chain has been committed to local sourcing, investing in the communities we serve, and providing genuine service and homemade quality since it was founded in 1933,” said John Caple, chairman of the Haggen board of directors and partner at Comvest Partners, a private investment firm that owns the majority of shares of Haggen. “We will continue our focus on sourcing and investing locally even with this exciting expansion.”

The company will be led by CEOs John Clougher and Bill Shaner. Clougher, CEO, Pacific Northwest, will have primary responsibility for the northern division of Washington and Oregon. Shaner, CEO, Pacific Southwest, will have primary responsibility for the southern division of California, Nevada and Arizona. The two will work together to steward the company’s commitment to its employees, customers, business partners and stakeholders.

After the close of the transaction in early 2015, Haggen will convert all of the acquired Albertsons and Safeway stores to the Haggen banner in phases during the first half of 2015. All Albertson’s LLC and Safeway store employees will have the opportunity to become employees of Haggen as their individual stores are transitioned to the Haggen banner. Haggen plans to retain the current store management teams.

“We warmly welcome these new employees and stores into the Haggen family. The stores are well run and very successful, thanks to the dedicated store teams,” said John Clougher, Haggen CEO, Pacific Northwest. “We want to retain these existing teams while allowing our growing company to build on their past successes. We plan to adopt the best practices of our new stores to offer a superior shopping experience for our valued customers in all of our stores.”

“We committed to this acquisition because we knew we had the experience, talent and drive to get it done,” added Caple. “The strength of our management and store support teams, combined with the talent of the store teams at each of the new store locations, will enable Haggen to be a successful West Coast grocer.”

Sagent Advisors, LLC and Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, LP acted as financial advisors to Haggen on the transaction. Akerman Senterfitt LLP acted as legal advisor.

 

About Haggen

Founded in 1933, Haggen, Inc. is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading grocery chains. The Bellingham, Washington-based company operates stores in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Northwest Fresh banner. It is the state’s sixth-largest private company with the majority of shares owned by Comvest Partners. Haggen is dedicated to providing its guests with the best of the Northwest. For more than 80 years, it has supported regional farms, ranches, fisheries and other businesses, creating a lasting and sustainable local food economy. Haggen is also deeply rooted in the communities it serves, providing support to local events and partnerships. For more information about what’s happening at Haggen, visit haggen.com.

 

About Comvest Partners

Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across the U.S. With more than $1.8 billion of assets under management, the firm includes seasoned, senior-level operating executives who partner with management and entrepreneurs to grow businesses and create long-term value. Since 2000, Comvest has invested more than $2.0 billion of capital in more than 140 public and private companies.

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27 Comments

  1. Amy Hasquet Amy Hasquet says:

    Shelley Hasquet did you shop here in Washington?

  2. Diana Thorn Diana Thorn says:

    I have been in that store in Washington.

  3. Rachel Spore Rachel Spore says:

    I grew up with a Haggen! I am so excited!

  4. Debra West Debra West says:

    Yes, we were warned about the Safeway’s being purchased by Hagen. I don’t believe it will effect our jobs! Both Safeway’s in Klamath Falls are transforming into the high end Hagen. I always loved shopping in a Hagen’s!

  5. Andrea Evers Andrea Evers says:

    Yay! I grew up in WA- this will be a great grocery for us here in SCV.

  6. Lisa Sweeney McLaughlin

  7. How are their prices? Do they have a rewards program?

    • L says:

      They do have a discount for the customer and employees. You should explore one. I live down the street from one. My fiance is employed there.

  8. Yep were all excited for the change. Going to be weird not working for Vons after 28 years though.

  9. Yes there was one near us in Washington Amy Hasquet…but it wasn’t close enough to shop there frequently.

  10. Marc Rice Marc Rice says:

    Hope they do better than Bristol Farms did in the SCV.

  11. Lora Hill Lora Hill says:

    Already thinking of shopping at Ralph’s.

  12. Carrie says:

    I wish they would take over the empty market space at Lyons & Orchard Village. The closing of this Ralph’s has really hurt our neighbors. We have several senior living complexes in this area and the elderly used to walk to Ralph’s. Now they have to wait for the shuttle or worse yet they get behind the wheel of a car and drive themselves.

  13. FOOD_AND_DRUG says:

    So, Albertsons and Safeway are proposing to the FTC that 146 store locations are peddled off to Haggen?

    First, the Pavilions store on McBean should have been closed some time ago. Why Safeway let it continue to operate is like throwing money down the drain. The store just does not have enough rooftops in the vicinity to support it. Plus, the added competition from nearby Sprouts, and an expanded grocery department at Target (and usually less expensive) and of course Whole Foods has diminished sales volumes at Pavilions.

    Second, the Bouquet Vons is getting sold to someone else again. Remember when that was Hughes, and Ralphs was required to sell that store to Vons?

    Third, earlier this year Albertsons closed The Old Road and Sierra Highway locations. Wouldn’t it be better for Haggen to take the Albertsons store on The Old Road rather than the Pavilions location? The Old Road store has many more rooftops in the general vicinity that can support than what the McBean Pavilions location does and could sustain itself vs. the McBean Pavilions.

    Fourth, since were talking about store locations, wouldn’t it make sense for Haggen to get the nicer/newer larger Albertsons on Copper Hill instead of the Hughes/Vons on Bouquet?

    As I peruse at the entire store base that’s coming over to Haggen, many of these locations are tired, worn out and need significant upgrades to keep them competitive. In other locations, like the McBean Pavilions, the stores are losers and Haggen in some respect is being sold a “bill of goods”.

    How is a company from Seattle going to manage an overnight expansion from 18 to 164 store?. This sounds like an implosion waiting to happen, similar to what Fresh & Easy suffered with the choice of many poor locations, even though Fresh & Easy passed Santa Clarita by.

    Another poster mentioned that they need something to replace Ralphs at Lyons & Orchard Village. You do have Vallarta across the street, which ironically is supplied by the same company that is going to be supplying Haggen, and that is Unified Grocers. If you’re going to go to Haggen, you can go to Vallarta for the same stuff in the inner aisles of the store. You also have Smart & Final not too far away, but if you are not mobile, then S&F may not work.

    I have heard that Smart & Final was planning on expanding it’s Lyons Ave location to a Smart & Final Extra once the other tenants leases are up, such as the post office, liquor store, pizza place, etc. This is now on hold. I don’t know if this means S&F is negotiating with Kroger to take a portion of the former Ralphs space. I have also heard that Vallarta and Stater Bros. are interested as well. Again, the former Ralphs should have been closed long ago. Since the Ralphs at Lyons & Orchard Village was newly opened at the time Ralphs purchased Hughes, including the Hughes McBean and Pico Canyon locations, Ralphs was content with the lower sales volume. However, over the past 5 years, the sales volume has steadily dropped. Competitive pressure from Vallarta, and to a lesser extent Vons and Smart & Final didn’t help. You have the Ralphs on Pico Canyon and McBean that can fill in the hole for the volume lost at Lyons & Orchard Village.

    Does anyone else really believe that Haggen has the money to make these stores “Cal Fresh” (isn’t that the food stamp program…lol) or whatever “Fresh” they are going to call them vs. what they look like and offer today?

  14. What’s their coupon policy?

  15. i hate this! Vons is my favorite….

    • Union Man says:

      Is Haggans stores a union store, because all of us hard worker with more than 25 years will get screwed out of our pension if not. I’m a Albertsons employee in San Diego. Any feedback from anyone?

  16. FOOD_AND_DRUG says:

    Haggen has stated that it intends on hiring all workers that are currently employed in the stores that intends to acquire. What has not been said is whether or not Haggen intends to recognize the UFCW, another union, or no union at all.

    My suggestion to you is to read Article 17 from the current grocery contract, and set-up a meeting with Mickey Kasparian, the President of San Diego UFCW Local 135 to address your questions in regard to pension and seniority rights.

    Here’s a link to your current bargaining agreement:

    http://www.ufcw1442.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/master-Food-agreement.pdf

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