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Cub Foods is set to be sold early next year

The grocery chain's parent company is looking to offload the store network.

The parent company of Cub Foods has said it will probably sell the grocery chain by early next year.

United Natural Foods Inc. said when it bought former Cub owner Supervalu in a $3 billion deal last year that it would look to sell the company's retail businesses.

And it looks as though that time is nearing, with Supermarket News reporting that UNFI CEO Steven Spinner said in a call with analysts last week that they hope to have sold the chain by early 2020.

"We're working diligently to divest both Shoppers and Cub and have advisers fully engaged to push this forward," he said. 

Of Cub, he said: "We are ... in a process and expect to have something to announce early in calendar year 2020."

Cub Foods remains the largest grocery chain in the Twin Cities, and in recent years has invested in remodels of its metro store network.

But it has come under pressure from new entries to the market, like Iowa-based Hy-Vee, as well as the expansion of other chains including budget retailer Aldi.

There are more than 75 Cub Foods stores in total, most of them based in Minnesota.

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