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There is a report out of the UK saying that Tesco, that nation’s largest retailer, has sent a team to the US to perform due diligence before deciding whether to make a bid for Albertsons.

While there have been numerous reports about companies that might be interested in acquiring Albertsons – which announced a few weeks ago that it was considering strategic options, including a possible sale of the company – most of the likely bidders have been said to be investment or equity firms. While Tesco, Belgium’s Delhaize and France’s Carrefour have been mentioned as possibly being interested, there have been no confirmations that any of these companies was seriously considering a move on Albertsons. Until now.

It is considered likely that Albertsons will see for more than $7.5 billion (US), according to most analysts.
KC's View:
We could be wrong about this, but we wouldn’t bet the farm that Tesco makes a serious bid for Albertsons. While it seems perfectly normal and appropriate that Tesco would investigate all the possibilities, we just don’t see it. In part it’s because Tesco already is in business with Kroger and Safeway here to varying degrees…and we wonder what a bid would do to those relationships.

It also is our impression that Tesco isn’t a company that would buy all of Albertsons just to grow for the sake of growth. It would have to be convinced that their stores were a good fit for its marketing and merchandising approach, and that there was an organic symbiosis that would make it worthwhile. We’re not sure that there is.

But once again, we would be wrong, and wouldn’t suggest that anyone bet our way. (You should see how badly we did in the weekend football pool…)