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Safeway sells out to Sobeys

Reported by Amanda Purcell
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Canada Safeway is no more.

Sobeys Inc. announced Wednesday they purchased the assets of Safeway Canada for $5.8-billion. The deal still needs to be approved by the Competition Bureau, and a decision on that is expected in the fall.

Paul Jewer, the Chief Financial Officer with Sobeys Inc. said they don't yet know if the stores will continue to keep the Safeway name.

"There hasn't been any decisions made at this stage as to what would happen as we integrate these two businesses," he said.

Jewer wouldn't go into any details about what led to the deal and how long it took to come into fruition, but he said they were very excited to have a larger presence in western Canada.

"It solidifies our number two position nationally, and makes us the number one grocery in fast growing (western markets)," he said.

The deal includes 213 grocery stores, 199 in-store pharmacies, 62 gas stations, 10 liquor stores, four primary distribution centres and related wholesale businesses as wells as 12 manufacturing facilities. Jewer said they're looking forward to having access to the "great real estate and excellent people" of the Safeway Canada chain.

"The opportunity to bring together two great companies, a great group of people and two very complimentary cultures we believe will allow us to serve our customers even better," he said.