The Sobey family of Stellarton, Nova Scotia, has taken a $1.59-billion hit on its purchase of the Safeway supermarket chain in Western Canada.
It bought the chain in 2013 for $5.8 billion. At about the same time, Loblaws bought the Shoppers Drug Mart chain.
Empire Co., the holding company the family uses to own the Sobey’s supermarket chain, lost $1.36 billion in its third quarter.
Empire said the write-down recognizes that the long-term value of the Safeway business is lower than previously estimated.
Had the company not taken that writedown and some other adjustments, it would have posted a profit of $82. 5 million, 36 per cent less than the same quarter a year earlier.