Albertson's buys American Stores, becomes top supermarket chain

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Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, said it will acquire the larger but less profitable American Stores, a combination that would create the largest U.S. supermarket chain with 2,470 stores in 37 states. Albertson's will pay $8.3 billion in stock and assume $3.4 billion in debt and gain control of Acme, Jewel-Osco and Lucky's. The purchase will vault it into the No. 1 position, surpassing the previous No. 1, Kroger Co. The merger plan comes as Salt Lake City-based American reviews its $40 million account for Lucky and Sav-on in California, Nevada and New Mexico, now at Grey Advertising, Los Angeles. Lois/EJL, Chicago, handles Jewel Food Stores and Osco drugstores in Chicago. Reimel Carter, Philadelphia, is creative agency for Acme Markets in Malvern, Pa. Albertson's agency is Duncan & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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