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Safeway to take Blackhawk unit public

Pleasanton, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. announced on Wednesday that it plans to take its Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. gift card and payment services unit public. Blackhawk sells gift cards at supermarkets and through other stores, including drug stores and convenience stores.

Safeway said it plans to file a registration statement for a potential initial public offering of a minority stake in Blackhawk and hopes to complete the IPO sometime in the first half of 2013, depending on market conditions.

Safeway Inc. said on Wednesday it plans to take its Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. gift card and payment services unit public sometime in the first half of 2013.

Safeway, one of the largest U.S. grocers, plans to file a registration statement for a potential initial public offering of a minority stake in Blackhawk, it said on Wednesday. It plans to complete the IPO sometime in the first half of 2013, depending on market conditions.

Blackhawk sells gift cards at grocery stores and through thousands of other stores, such as pharmacies and convenience stores, such as pharmacies and convenience stores.