Report of snag in buyout sends Supervalu stock crashing


Bloomberg reports progress toward a leveraged buyout of struggling grocery chain Supervalu has stalled. The news sent Supervalu's stock price plummeting in late trading and it ended the day down 17 percent.

Lenders are reportedly getting cold feet about the proposed buyout by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. Sources tell Bloomberg lenders are concerned about Supervalu's debt burden and want Cerberus to put more money into the deal.

Last month, the company's stock price zoomed on word that the Cerberus deal was in the works. For the year, though, Supervalu had lost two-thirds of its value even before Thursday's crash. The company has lost $2.5 billion in two years and earlier this month announced benefit cuts and salary freezes.

But, as Minnesotans are prone to say, it could be worse. A comparison of struggling grocery chains on the Seeking Alpha website last week concluded that Supervalu is a better bet than Roundy's, the Milwaukee-based company that operates Rainbow Foods.

Supervalu is among Minnesota's biggest businesses, operating about 2,500 supermarkets nationally. And at least one of them is willing to turn over aisle six to a seasonal round of turkey bowling:

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