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The Chicago Tribune reports that most analysts believe that it will be difficult for Safeway Inc. to recoup even half the money it spent to acquire Dominick’s, now that it has begun looking for a buyer in earnest.

Safeway bought Dominick’s in 1998 for $1.9 billion, but analysts say that the company now is worth anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion, with a selling price likely to be closer to the bottom figure than the top.

The bidding formally opened last month. Safeway agreed to put the company on the market as part of a labor settlement with the unions, which were threatening a strike. Since that agreement, Dominick's has closed a store and laid off 500 of its 13,000-member workforce.

Among the companies mentioned as likely bidders for Dominick’s are Kroger, Supervalu, Meijer, Ahold, and Schnucks.
KC's View:
We keep hearing speculation that the most likely buyer will be Bob Mariano, who used to run Dominick’s pre-Safeway and now runs Roundy’s.