Safeway Raises Buyback to 32 Million Shares

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Oakland-based Safeway Inc. more than doubled the number of shares it will buy back from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. to 32 million from 15 million as part of its plan to buy Vons Cos. The shares will be bought for $43 each immediately after the Vons acquisition has been completed, the company said. Raising the stock buyback will limit the increase of Safeway shares outstanding after the acquisition to about 9 million, and will help its per-share earnings, the company said. Safeway shares rose 37.5 cents to close at $44.375, and Vons shares rose $1.08 cents to close at $62.625, both on the New York Stock Exchange. After the buyback, KKR partnerships will still hold more than 33% of the combined supermarket companies.

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