Albertson's ( ABS) Friday said it will acquire supermarket group J.S. USA Holdings in a deal valued at $2.48 billion. The Idaho-based Albertson's said the acquisition will give it a greater national presence, with operations in 37 states. Profits at the company and other supermarket chains in California have been hurt by a long-running grocery workers strike. J.S. USA Holdings, which operates the Shaw's and Star chains in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, is being sold by the U.K's top supermarket group, J. Sainsbury. The deal, which includes $368 million of capital lease assumption, is expected to close sometime in the second quarter. Albertson's said the acquisition is expected to be accretive to its 2004 earnings guidance of $1.30 to $1.40 a share. Albertson's shares fell $1, or 4.4%, to $23.66 in premarket trading.