Jewel-Osco sold by SuperValu to new corporate parent

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:05 p.m. CDT

The Jewel-Osco chain of supermarkets has come under a new corporate umbrella.

Thursday, Minnesota-based Supervalu announced that it had completed a sale valued at $3.3 billion of a number of supermarket and pharmacy brands, including Jewel-Osco, to a group affiliated with Cerberus Capital Management.

The new owner, listed as AB Acqusition, is scheduled to assume control of Jewel-Osco and the four other supermarket brands by Friday.

The sale of Jewel and the other supermarkets was announced by SuperValu in January.

It marks the second transfer of ownership of Jewel-Osco since the middle of the last decade, when Supervalu acquired the local supermarket chain when it purchased Albertsons.

Locally, Jewel-Osco operates two supermarkets in St. Charles, as well as stores in Batavia, South Elgin, Elburn, Sugar Grove and West Chicago.

The chain's brand has been a mainstay of the retail grocery market in the Chicago area for generations, with more than 180 stores, centered in northeast Illinois.

However, the chain, as well as Supervalu, have fallen on more difficult times in recent years, as they have been pressured by a rising number of discount grocers locally, including Walmart, Target and Aldi, as well as by more high-end grocers.

Cerberus has not stated publicly what it might do to increase the profitability of the Jewel-Osco chain. Published reports in publications like Crain's Chicago Business have indicated the new owners may close or sell under-performing stores, or selling the entire brand to another existing supermarket chain.