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Safeway Rallies on Report of Buyout Interest
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Safeway (NYSE:SWY) is reportedly garnering interest from a handful of buyout firms, setting the stage for what could become one of the largest leveraged buyouts since the financial crisis.

According to a report from Reuters, Cerberus Capital Management and other private equity firms are interested in a deal for all or part of the supermarket chain.

Safeway is not running an auction but is aware of the buyout interest, the report said. The company is reviewing options with its advisor, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), while it remains unclear if at least one of the firms will place a bid.

Safeway and Cerberus declined to comment on the report.

Shares leaped 8.7% to $35.76 in late afternoon trading Wednesday, extending gains of 81.9% as of Tuesday's close.

Safeway, the No. 2 grocery store operator in the U.S. with a market value of around $8.7 billion, recently came under shareholder pressure from Jana Partners. The activist investor reported in September a 6.2% stake in the company and held talks with management about reviewing strategic alternatives.

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