A&P has announced and Pathmark confirmed that A&P is in talks to buy Pathmark and has offered $12.50 a share in cash and stock for each Pathmark share.
A&P has been retreating for some time, including selling off its Canadian division, and this would represent a consolidation in its strong New York market where A&P’s banners, including Waldbaum’s and Food Emporium, give it leadership.
No official word yet but consolidation might change produce procurement patterns as A&P moved from self-procurement and distribution to allowing C & S Wholesale Grocers to supply produce.
No definitive agreement has been reached but, even if it is reached, one wonders if we won’t have, as Yogi Berra explained, a moment of “deja vue all over again.”
In 1999 Ahold announced its agreement to acquire Pathmark for $1.75 billion, into which it was going to integrate its Edwards chain. Yet due to antitrust concerns, the FTC set tough conditions for approval including divesting many stores. As a result Ahold terminated the transaction. Pathmark sued for breach of contract.
The question now: will the FTC find more favor in a combination with A&P than it did with Ahold?