Empire Company Limited, which owns the Sobeys grocery store chain, announced today (June 12) that it has reached a deal to buy 213 Safeway stores in Western Canada. The agreement came at a cash purchase price of $5.8 billion.
“This is a significant and historic event for Sobeys, which has been proudly serving Canadian food shoppers for 106 years,” Paul D. Sobey, president and CEO of Empire Company Ltd., stated in a news release. “The acquisition of Canada Safeway represents an excellent strategic fit, strengthening our presence in Western Canada with the addition of great employees, excellent stores and exceptional real estate.”
Currently in B.C., Sobeys stores are only found in three cities: Fort St. John, Golden, and Invermere. The majority of Sobeys locations are found in the Maritimes, and the company is based out of Nova Scotia.
“The acquisition allows us to leverage our existing assets and in turn position Sobeys to compete even more effectively within the changing, and increasingly competitive, grocery retail landscape,” Sobey said.
Along with the 213 full-service Safeway stores, Sobeys has also acquired 199 in-store pharmacies, 62 fuel stations, 10 liquor stores, 4 primary distribution centres and related wholesale businesses, and 12 manufacturing facilities. Empire Company Limited hopes that the new acquisition will position Sobeys to be the leading grocer in Western Canada.