US-based grocery chain SuperValu has signed a definitive agreement with AB Acquisition to sell five of its retail grocery chains for $3.3bn.

According to the terms of the deal, SuperValu will sell 877 outlets under the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw‘s and Star Market brands to AB, which is an affiliate of a consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management.

AB Acquisition will acquire the holding company of the five stores – New Albertsons, for $100m in cash besides taking over the $3.2bn debt held by the latter.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Further, SuperValu also announced a change in management with Sam Duncan replacing Wayne Sales as the chairman and CEO.

Commenting on the sale, SuperValu outgoing chairman and CEO Wayne Sales said the transaction represents the successful culmination of the in-depth strategic review process that was undertaken in the summer of 2012.

"Following the sale, SuperValu will have three strong, market-leading business units with more consistent cash flows and improved EBITDA growth potential.

"At the same time, the stores being sold to AB Acquisition are complementary to Albertson’s LLC’s current operations, which are focused primarily on traditional retail grocery," added Sales

For the third quarter of fiscal 2013, the chain reported net sales of $7.9bn, a decline of 5%, compared to $8.3bn in the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

Retail food net sales were $4.96bn in the third quarter, down from $5.36bn in the year earlier quarter.

SuperValu operates over 4,350 stores, comprising 1, 068 traditional retail stores, 778 in-store pharmacies; 1,329 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 946 are operated by licensee owners and 1,950 independent stores. The retailer employs about 125,000 people.