The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 17 that Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers Inc., the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys and Fresco y Más, is exploring a sale, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report comes about a year after the supermarket operator canceled its plans to go public.
The Journal reported the company is in talks with prospective buyers, according to its sources.
It said that if a deal goes through, it would be another sign of consolidation in the U.S. supermarket sector.
Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. agreed last month to combine in a $20 billion deal and said they expect to divest stores to secure regulatory approval, the Journal said.
The paper said Southeastern Grocers, which runs about 420 stores primarily in the Southern U.S., was expected to generate about $9.6 billion in sales in 2020, according to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission related to the planned initial public offering.
It operates more than 200 pharmacies and 140 liquor stores.
By comparison, Kroger had $132.5 billion in revenue in 2021 and Albertsons $69.9 billion.
The Journal reported that a Southeastern spokeswoman said the company is always reviewing ways to enhance shareholder value and that it has an obligation to consider transactions that do so. She said the company will remain focused on its strategy, the Journal said.
Southeastern filed to go public in 2020, then pulled the plan last year, saying that it had decided not to pursue the offering.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, which reduced its debt.