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PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway says it has agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by Cerebus Capital Management, the owner of Albertsons and several other supermarket chains.

The acquisition is worth about $7.64 billion in cash, and pending other transactions could top more than $9 billion.

It comes amid ongoing consolidation in the supermarket industry, which is facing growing competition from big-box retailers, specialty chains, drug stores and even dollar stores.

Cerberus bought five chains including Albertson's and Jewel-Osco from Supervalu Inc. last year. Kroger Co. also recently snapped up regional chain Harris Teeter.

Safeway shareholders will receive $32.50 per share in cash. Pending other deals, the company says the deal is worth roughly $40 per share to stockholders.

Shares of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc. closed at $39.47 Thursday.

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