After last week's sale of Canada Safeway to Sobeys, some analysts are now speculating that Overwaitea Food Group could attract the attention of Loblaw and Metro.
The western chain, owned by billionaire Jim Pattison, operates more than 125 stores under half a dozen retail banners such as Save-On-Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Buy-Low Foods, Cooper’s Foods and Urban Fare.
Pattison is keeping mum on his plans for Overwaitea group, but retail expert Perry Caicco of CIBC said in a report that since "Safeway is a major part of the UGI (United Grocers Inc.) buying group along with Overwaitea and Metro, this deal effectively increases the purchasing costs for the remaining members." He also said that after Sobeys bought Oshawa Group in November of 1997, Loblaw bought Provigo seven days later.
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