Supervalu shares rise amid buyout rumorsby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The share price of Supervalu rose about 3 percent Tuesday amid recycled rumors that the struggling grocery company may be bought out.
The Eden Prairie company is one of the largest grocers in the nation, with annual sales of about $38 billion. Supervalu supplies about 4,300 company-owned, franchised and independent grocery stores.
The company declined to comment.
The rumors have been around at least since last summer, but Morningstar analyst Michelle Chang doesn't think a deal for Supervalu is in the works.
"It doesn't jump out at us as a very likely buyout candidate," Chang said. "Given it already has so much debt on the balance sheet, we don't think it is very likely for it to be bought out."
The company has more than $7 billion in debt, and Supervalu's sales have slipped for six straight quarters.
Wall Street has not had much confidence in the company. Its stock has lost about a third of its value in the past year.