Cerberus Capital Management's $9 billion-plus deal to buy grocery giant Safeway is a tie-up that should be a win for the consumer.
If approved, the deal announced Thursday would produce a formidable foe within the grocery space once Cerberus joins its Albertsons chain with Safeway. The resulting grocery behemoth of more than 2,400 stores would be nearly as big as rival Kroger's 2,640 supermarkets and multidepartment stores.
Still, some analysts noted that the offer price was lower than expected.
In a report Friday, Jefferies analysts wrote that the $40 offer price was below the $45 to $50 that many had hoped for.
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Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a report that the offer price seemed "too low," citing the stock's slump following the close Thursday.
Cerberus' offer price represented a valuation below that of historic deals struck within the grocery space, including Harris Teeter's acquisition by Kroger.
Despite the discount, Jefferies Managing Director Mark Wiltamuth described the deal as a win for shareholders.
"The shareholders very much won here," he said, adding that the bid represents a 17 percent premium since Safeway disclosed last month it was in talks with an unnamed bidder.
(Watch: Safeway snatched up by PE firm)
Jefferies pegged the Safeway deal at 5.8 times forward enterprise value of its core grocery business divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), below that of Kroger's acquisition of Harris Teeter at 7.2x EV/EBITDA. Wiltamuth noted that "Harris Teeter was viewed a strong retail player generating strong results."
While the Safeway deal looks inexpensive in comparison to other grocery deals, Wiltamuth said it signaled that Cerberus would need to improve Safeway's core grocery business. Still, Cerberus was able to snag an attractive valuation, he added.