Crain’s Headlines: Albertsons Again Weighs IPO

Jewel-Osco’s corporate parent is again deciding whether it should go public.

Albertsons is expected to announce in a few weeks whether it will proceed with an initial public offering of stock, which could be valued at around $19 billion. The grocery giant has been updating IPO documents confidentially filed with the SEC, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

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In 2017, Albertsons scuttled IPO plans following a failed courtship of Whole Foods, which was later sold to Amazon.

This time, Albertsons hopes to take advantage of a strong stock market and its own improved performance. The company had about $61 billion in sales last year and substantially reduced its debt since filing for an IPO in 2015.

In other Chicago-area business news:

David Calhoun officially takes over Monday as the new CEO of Boeing, but the longtime member of the company’s board is already making his presence known.

When the board elevated announced plans to make Calhoun CEO in December, they vowed to make Boeing more transparent.

Bloomberg reports that Calhoun pushed to release a raft of internal messages last week that exposed strife within the team that developed Boeing’s ill-fated 737 Max and cast the company’s commitment to safety and quality in doubt.

This appears to be just one effort to give the company a PR makeover in the wake of two fatal crashes of 737 Max planes as well as the failed launch in December of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft.

And finally, the liquor giant Diageo has bought a stake in a local maker of alcohol-free spirits.

Ritual Zero Proof, which bills itself as the first non-alcoholic brand to serve up a realistic alternative to gin and whiskey, has attracted an undisclosed investment from Diageo, the world’s biggest liquor company.

Ritual Zero says it plans to use the Diageo investment to double its product lineup and expand sales to at least 25 states by yearend from the current footprint in metro Chicago.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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