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SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) today announced that Sam K. Duncan will become president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. In this role he succeeds Wayne Sales, who has served as the Company’s president and chief executive officer since July 2012. Last month, SUPERVALU announced an agreement with AB Acquisition LLC to sell five of its retail banners as well as enter into an agreement with Symphony Investors LLC to conduct a tender offer for up to 30 percent of SUPERVALU’s outstanding common stock at a purchase price of $4.00 per share in cash. Both AB Acquisition LLC and Symphony Investors LLC are Cerberus Capital Management-led entities. SUPERVALU had previously announced that Mr. Duncan would assume the role of president and chief executive officer upon closing of the transaction. Mr. Sales oversaw SUPERVALU’s review of strategic alternatives, and as executive chairman, will continue to have oversight over the completion of the transaction. At the closing of the transaction, Robert Miller, current president and CEO of Albertsons LLC, will become SUPERVALU’s non-executive chairman.
“Sam is a talented and respected executive with a wealth of industry experience,” said Mr. Sales. “The Board decided to install Sam as president and chief executive officer before the completion of our previously announced transaction so he can start refining and where appropriate implement plans for the business. I fully support this decision and look forward to working with Sam to ensure a smooth transition.”
Commenting on his appointment Mr. Duncan said, “Following January’s announcement, I have visited stores, spoken with many of our independent retailers and Save-a-Lot licensees, and met many team members. These activities have reinforced my belief that SUPERVALU has a bright future; and I’m excited to start putting in place plans to improve our results and increase shareholder value.”
Mr. Duncan, 61, most recently served from 2005-2011 as chairman, CEO and president of OfficeMax, the third-largest office supplies retailer in North America with over $7 billion in revenues and more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands. Prior to joining OfficeMax, Mr. Duncan served from 2002-2005 as president and CEO of ShopKo Stores, a $3 billion Midwest retailer. In these roles, Duncan successfully led publicly-traded companies though growth and financial improvement efforts, resulting in stronger organizations and improved shareholder value. He has over 40 years of experience in the retail industry, including nearly 30 years with Albertsons and Kroger in positions of increasing responsibility.