If Empire wants to sell any of its Sobeys or Safeway Canada locations in Western Canada, Jim Pattison wants to buy them.
In an interview with BNN, the Canadian businessman said his company is committed to Western Canada "and so if there were any opportunities that came up that would be good for any of our competitors and ourselves, that they wanted to sell, we would certainly be interested in the opportunity.”
Pattison, who also owns grocery chains Overwaitea and Save-on-Foods, purchased 15 stores from Empire and its Sobeys subsidiary in 2014. Sobeys had to sell several of those locations to get the green light from the Competition Bureau for the Safeway Canada acquisition.
Empire admittedly made mistakes with the $5.8-billion acquisition and earlier this year hired former Canadian Tire CEO Michael Medline to help steer its business in the right (and profitable) direction.
Pattison meanwhile continues to grow his grocery empire. In March, The Jim Pattison Group purchased Quality Foods—the 13-store Vancouver Island grocery chain the company first invested in five years ago.
Pattison had been a majority partner since 2012, joining the three founding members of the chain—Ken Schley, John Briuolo and Noel Hayward—who opened the first Quality Foods in Qualicum Beach in 1982.