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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blackhawk to be spun off from Safeway

Blackhawk Network, the Safeway Inc. subsidiary and gift card mall operator, said that the proposed merger between its grocery store chain parent and rival chain operator Albertsons LLC will not affect Blackhawk's operations. The gift card distributor said its operational independence from Safeway will result in business as usual after the merger is completed.

"Blackhawk's day-to-day operations of its prepaid products business have been conducted independently for the past two years, except for sharing tax and treasury management functions," Blackhawk said. "As a result, Safeway's change in ownership will not adversely impact Blackhawk's operations and the distribution by Safeway will complete Blackhawk's independence as a stand-alone public company."

Blackhawk Chief Executive Officer Bill Tauscher noted Safeway recognized that Blackhawk needed to be run as a separate business unit apart from Safeway in order to be successful. "Blackhawk would need to operate independently and partner with many grocery retailers that compete with Safeway," he said. In fact, Blackhawk is already the prepaid card supplier for Albertsons.

Tauscher also related that Safeway's board of directors recently concluded that Safeway should divest its remaining ownership in Blackhawk to open up the distributor to additional market opportunities. end of article

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