Safeway adopts poison pill after big stock buys

AP News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2013 10:45 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Safeway is adopting a plan to prevent a hostile takeover after learning of a significant accumulation of its stock.

The announcement Tuesday sent shares of the grocer spiking to a multi-year high.

So-called "poison pill" plans allow existing shareholders to acquire more stock at a discounted rate to discourage a takeover by an outside entity.

Safeway's defensive plan becomes exercisable if a person or group acquires 10 percent or more of the company's common stock, or 15 percent by an institutional investor.

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Safeway, which also operates Vons, noted that it has taken a number of strategic initiatives to increase value for shareholders, including the recent sale of its Canadian unit.

Shares of Safeway Inc., based in Pleasanton, Calif., jumped almost 8 percent to $30.26.