Supervalu Shareholders Reject Rule Changes Regarding Sale

Supervalu Shareholders Reject Rule Changes Regarding Sale

At Supervalu’s annual meeting on Tuesday, shareholders rejected a measure that would have reduced the supermajority needed to approve the sale of some or all parts of the grocer.

At a time when Supervalu, Inc., is considering a sale, shareholders on Tuesday voted against a proposal that would have lowered the shareholder approval threshold required for the company to be sold.

Specifically, shareholders rejected a measure that would have reduced the supermajority needed to approve the sale of some or all parts of the Eden Prairie-based grocer from 75 percent to 66 2/3 percent, according to Supervalu spokesman Mike Siemienas.

The vote was cast at Supervalu’s annual meeting in St. Louis. A Supervalu shareholder proposed the change this spring, and the proposal has been in the company’s proxy statement since then.

Siemienas said the measure did receive a “significant majority” of the votes cast—but it did not receive the 75 percent of outstanding shares needed to change the threshold percentage. (The vote tally hasn’t yet been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.)

Last week, struggling Supervalu said it is angling for a buyer. The company indicated that it has tapped financial advisors at Goldman Sachs and Greenhill & Company for “a review of strategic alternatives.”

At the time, Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert said in an e-mail to employees that the review will include the possible sale of all or parts of the company. Meanwhile, he told investors that bankruptcy is not among the alternatives being considered.

Siemienas said Wednesday that Tuesday’s shareholder vote and the review being undertaken by the company are not connected.

“This vote is in no way related to our announcement last week that we are exploring strategic alternatives, and we believe it will have no impact on that review,” he said.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal—citing unnamed “people familiar with the matter”—reported that Supervalu is expected to soon begin sending financial information to prospective buyers.