SAFEWAY, Pleasanton, Calif., said it will refinance its long-term debt by purchasing $870.9 million worth of its outstanding public debt securities. Safeway commenced tender offers last Monday to acquire its outstanding public debt and filed a shelf registration for $1 billion of new debt as part of a refinancing package. The company said it intends to finance the debt buyback with proceeds from a new debt offering, loans from its bank credit facility or commercial paper or a combination thereof.
16 New Jersey convenience store owners and employees of defrauding the food-stamp program of $6 million through the use of electronic benefits transfer cards. According to indictments made public last week, the operators gave customers 65 to 70 cents in cash for each dollar they charged to the card without actually purchasing groceries. Prosecutors said 82 food-stamp recipients who participated in the scheme have been barred from the program for one year. The EBT system will be required in every state by 2002. Currently it is used in 20 states.
PROCTER & GAMBLE, Cincinnati, said it has begun rationing shipments of the liquid detergents Cheer, Era and Gain because its manufacturing plant cannot keep up with demand. P&G will continue national advertising for the three brands, but will cancel some in-store promotions. Neither P&G's powder detergents nor Liquid Tide -- its most popular brand -- will be affected.