The parent of Southern California's Alpha Beta supermarkets is negotiating to sell all or part of the grocery chain to the owners of Boys Markets, a state official said Tuesday.
Executives of American Stores, which agreed to sell Alpha Beta under an antitrust settlement reached with the California Attorney General in May, will meet with state officials on Thursday to discuss their plans.
It could not be determined how close American Stores and Yucaipa Cos., the Claremont-based investors that own Boys and other supermarket chains, have come to an agreement. But H. Chester Horn Jr., a deputy California attorney general, said the Thursday meeting marks the first time American Stores executives have "felt that things are far enough along" that they need to update the Attorney General's Office on the negotiations.
Horn said American Stores officials will talk with a group of officials headed by Sanford Gruskin, an assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust section. Horn said Yucaipa executives also have been in touch with state officials about the negotiations, but he did not expect them to attend this week's meeting.