Third Time Lucky For Supermarket Chain’s IPO Bid

Albertsons will go public after the pandemic crisis passes.

After ill-timed attempts, US supermarket group Albertsons is likely to become an IPO favorite when markets recover from COVID-19 fears.

“They have been unlucky with their timing, but they may be lucky this time,” says Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, a provider of institutional research and IPO exchange traded funds.

The Idaho-based grocer, which operates stores in more than 30 states, first registered for an IPO in 2015 after its merger with Safeway but later pulled the offering as market conditions weren’t right. It tried to go public again in 2018 with a $24 billion merger deal with Rite Aid, but that deal went south after investors blocked it.

But on March 6, just days before the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Albertsons registered again for an IPO.

Smith says she does not expect to see any listings until market volatility subsides. However, supermarkets have outperformed during the COVID-19 emergency as consumers stocked up on supplies.

“I think investors will look favorably at a grocer coming out because it looks like they believe in the grocery business, based on peers,” Smith says.

Albertsons is in a regulatory quiet period and was unable to comment.