'First and foremost,' we'll improve Acme Markets, pledges buyer Adler

Acme Markets opened a brand new supermarket in Bryn Mawr at the site of its former store. Manager Nick Caridesright helps a customer in the produce section. (Charles Fox / Staff Photographer)

In taking over Philadelphia area's Acme Markets and its sister supermarket chains in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, “the number one priority is to stabilize and enhance the operations of the business," says Dean Adler, whose Lubert Adler Partners, Philadelphia, joined Cerberus and three other partners pledging $100 million and promised to assume $3.2 billion in debt to purchase the 877 stores from Supervalu Inc. yesterday. 

So they're not just gonna close stores and liquidate the real estate? "There is significant valuable real estate that provides downside protection," Adler told me. But "first and foremost the goal is to stabilize and enhance the operating platforms," he added.

"The value of establishing a successful operating business is worth significantly more than the dark value of real estate," Adler said. "I’m not an operator. Bob Miller and the operating team of Albertsons LLC," who will run the combined chains, "have historically demonstrated their ability to stabilize and enhance supermarket operations.”