Safeway Boosts Its Interest in SSI Equity

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Safeway Inc. said it bought an additional 13.6% interest in SSI Equity Associates for $124.9 million, raising its interest in the limited partnership to 74.1%. Safeway, the world's largest food retailer, said it used a bank loan to buy the interest from an unnamed third party. SSI's assets are warrants to purchase 23.4 million shares of Safeway common stock at $1 a share. Because Safeway considers the warrants to be common stock equivalents, its earnings per share are expected to rise slightly beginning in the fourth quarter, the company said. Pleasanton-based Safeway was expected to earn 58 cents a share in the fourth quarter, based on a survey of 13 analysts by First Call Corp. Safeway made its first purchase in SSI in January 1995. Safeway shares fell 62.5 cents to close at $40 on the NYSE.

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