shares rose more than 8% in late trading Wednesday after the company said it was selling its Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy stores to other grocery chains as it focuses on its wholesale business instead of retail chains amid an activist-investor fight. The company said that it had agreed to sell 21 of its 38 Farm Fresh locations for about $43 million to grocery chains Harris Teeter, The Kroger Co.
and Food Lion. Supervalu said it is continuing to discuss transactions for the other stores and is talking to companies and certain Farm Fresh employees about purchasing them. “Over the past two years, we’ve been working diligently and rapidly to transform our business to become the wholesale supplier of choice for grocery retailers across the United States,” Chief Executive Mark Gross said in Wednesday afternoon’s announcement, noting the company’s previous sale of the Save-A-Lot chain of stores and acquisitions of wholesale businesses. Supervalu stock gained about 8.5% in late trading after the deal was announced.