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Shaw’s Supermarkets under new ownership

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:04 pm, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

Shaw’s Supermarkets, including locations in Stowe and Waterbury, have changed hands, but shoppers won’t see any immediate changes when it comes to products or prices.

Shaw’s Supermarkets across New England last week were sold to AB Acquisitions LLC, the parent company of Albertson’s LLC. The two limited liability companies are affiliates of the investment group Cerberus Capital Management L.P.

The $3.3 billion deal included the acquisition of five other supermarket and pharmacy chains from their former parent company, Supervalu Inc.

“There are no changes planned immediately,” said Shaw’s spokesperson Steve Sylven. “We’re owned by a different company, but our main focus is on running great stores and providing a great environment for our customers.”

Besides acquiring Shaw’s, AB Acquisitions also purchased Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Star Market stores, and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies.

Shaw’s has 19 supermarkets in Vermont, 24 in Maine, 34 in New Hampshire and 89 in Massachusetts.

In Vermont, Shaw’s largest competitors include Hannaford Supermarkets and Price Chopper Supermarkets.

“Anyone that’s selling groceries is potentially a competitor,” Sylven said.

Shaw’s was originally a Maine company started in 1860 by George C. Shaw, who opened his first store in Portland. Today, Shaw’s has approximately 25,000 employees in New England.

Shaw’s former parent company, Supervalu, has experienced financial hardships in recent years. It pulled out of the Connecticut market in 2007 and last year laid off 700 workers from its Shaw’s and Star Supermarkets in Massachusetts.

No store closings or layoffs are expected to result from the change in corporate ownership, Sylven said.

Shaw’s corporate office will eliminate 10 positions as part of a restructuring plan, but it will also create 40 new positions, he said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities that will be in front of us as we move forward,” Sylven said.

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