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Just days after Milwaukee-based Roundy’s announced that it would extend its geographic reach with new stores in Chicago, the Wall Street Journal reports that the company “is sounding out potential buyers,” with expectations that the company – which has 153 stores at the moment and generates $4.7 billion in annual sales – could be sold for $2 billion or more.

Roundy’s currently is owned by a private equity firm, Willis Stein & Partners.

The Journal notes that “possible buyers of Roundy's include Eden Prairie, Minn. based Supervalu, along with privately held Giant Eagle Inc., which operates in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, and a slew of private-equity firms.”
KC's View:
It seems to us that anyone who wants to buy Roundy’s also has to buy into the strategic vision of CEO Bob Mariano…and that it wouldn’t make sense to spend billions of dollars on the company without making a deal that keeps him atop the executive suite for the foreseeable future. And that could reduce the number of interested parties willing to buy the company.

On the other hand, we could be wrong. Mariano could want to cash out…though this seems unlikely at a time when the Roundy’s is returning to his Chicago roots. Or, there could be retailers or wholesalers who would simply disagree with that assessment.

We’ll see.