Safeway, the second-largest U.S. mainstream grocery store operator, said on Wednesday it is in talks about a possible sale of the company.
A handful of buyout firms, including Cerberus Capital Management, have been exploring a deal for all or part of Safeway, Reuters reported in October.
Cerberus is currently in talks with Safeway about a possible transaction, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
The source asked not to be identified because the talks are private. A Safeway spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on the talks with Cerberus. Cerberus declined to comment.
Wednesday's news comes as the operator of chains such as Safeway, Vons and Dominick's tries to fend off tough competition in the grocery aisle from traditional players such as Kroger, warehouse club Costco Wholesale, discounter Wal-Mart Stores, and dollar stores.