Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, has received the approval of the Federal Trade Commission over its acquisition of Buttrey Food and Drug Store Company, a deal in which 15 of Buttrey's 44 supermarkets will be sold to other companies. The FTC sought the divestiture, concerned that Albertson's acquisition of all 44 Buttrey stores could lead to less competition and higher food prices in 11 cities in Montana and Wyoming. Under the agreement, as reported previously in SN, 13 of the Buttrey supermarkets will be sold to Smith's Food and Drug Centers, Inc. and two stores would be sold to Supervalu Holdings, Inc. Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's, the nation's fourth largest supermarket chain with 916 stores in 23 states and $14.7 billion in sales last year, already operates nine stores in Montana, eight competing with Buttrey supermarkets. Nine Albertson's in Wyoming compete with Buttrey stores, according to the FTC. Great Falls, Montana-based Buttrey last year had sales of $391.4 million.
th-largest retailer, also recently decided to abandon possible takeover talks with Booker. Budgens, which is 28% owned by the German food retailer Rewe, approached Booker about takeover talks in July.
PATHMARK STORES, Carteret, N.J., is "proud to be thirty!" according to newspaper ads marking the company's 30-year anniversary. In conjunction with the anniversary celebration, Pathmark is offering a sweepstakes contest through Oct. 17, in which consumers can win a number of prizes. A company spokesman said employees will also be competing for special prizes through a contest to see which store can come up with the most creative decorations. Pathmark is the successor company to Supermarkets General, which was established in 1968 by a group of stores that broke away from Wakefern, a cooperative based in Elizabeth, N.J.