Instead of a clear-cut buyout, the insider said Cerberus was close to buying some parts of Supervalu and taking a stake the remainder, which is expected to remain public, the Journal reported Friday.
As conceived, Cerberus would contribute about $500 million in equity, several hundred million dollars less than initially discussed, the source told the Journal.
The purchase's structure is meant to partially bridge a gap between how much cash Cerberus was willing to front and the amount of money banks arranging financing wanted Cerberus to commit, the Journal said.
Supervalu, which has headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., put itself on the market last summer as losses mounted and customer discounts didn't drive up sales. The company is parent to chains such as Shaw's in New England, Jewel-Osco in Chicago and Shop 'n Save in St. Louis.
A deal could be announced as early as next week but terms weren't finalized and the deal could still collapse, the person told the Journal. Other firms have expressed interest in buying parts of Supervalu if the Cerberus deal isn't consummated.