(March 16) The Albertson’s sale is a go.

Albertson’s Inc., Boise, Idaho, said March 14 the Federal Trade Commission had approved its $9.7 billion sale to a consortium led by Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu Inc. and Woonsocket, R.I.-based pharmacy chain CVS Corp.

The FTC did not place any restrictions or conditions on the transaction, and Supervalu said on its Website that the waiting period for the merger required by anti-trust law had expired.

The deal is contingent on approval by Albertson’s and Supervalu shareholders. Albertson’s stockholders will receive $26.29 per share in cash and Supervalu stock.

Supervalu has committed $12.4 billion to the purchase — $3.8 billion in cash, $2.5 billion in stock and $6.1 billion in debt assumption. The deal triples the company’s roster of retail stores, giving it 2,656 units in 48 states.

Supervalu will take over 1,124 stores under the Acme Markets; Bristol Farms; Jewel-Osco; Shaw’s Supermarkets and Star Markets banners as well as Albertson’s stores in Idaho, southern Nevada, Utah, Southern California and the Pacific Northwest. Supervalu also will get Albertsons’ grocery-pharmacy stores under the Osco and Sav-On banners.

“We believe that this merger creates tremendous value for both Supervalu and Albertson’s shareholders, as the combination results in a retail powerhouse with strong market positions, tremendous brand equities, significant size and scale, and a solid financial platform,” Jeff Noddle, chairman and chief executive officer, said on Supervalu’s Website.

Supervalu conducted meetings with investors in several U.S. cities the week of March 13. Web broadcasts of those presentations are available on Supervalu’s Website at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=93272&p=irol-irHome.