Supervalu, the grocery chain pursuing strategic alternatives, rose the most in more than three decades after a JPMorgan Chase analyst upgraded the company’s bonds on the possibility of a buyout.
The shares advanced 45 percent to $3.17 at the close in New York for the biggest gain since at least 1980. The grocer has declined 61 percent this year.
There is a 50 percent likelihood of a leveraged buyout, said JPMorgan’s Carla Casella, who raised the company’s bonds to a neutral rating from underweight. Supervalu has been pursuing a new direction after losing more than $2.5 billion in its previous two fiscal years, hurt by competition from big-box discounters and costs to operate stores. Supervalu has 1,099 traditional retail stores, under names such as Jewel-Osco and Albertsons, and has 1,341 Save-A-Lot discount locations.