Acme Markets' corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

The investors group purchased a portion of the Albertson chain in 2005. Last year, in a deal with Supervalu Inc., the investment group bought 500 more Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market grocery stores in a deal valued at about $3.3 billion.

In this deal, Safeway investors will receive about $40 a share, consisting of $32.50 a share in cash, plus other considerations and stock in Safeway's spinoff Blackhawk Network Holdings. Safeway shares closed down 1 cent, at $39.47, before the deal was announced. The stock fell in after-hours trading.

"This transaction offers us the opportunity to better serve customers by adapting more quickly to evolving shopping preferences in diverse regions across the country," said Bob Miller, Albertsons' chief executive officer. "It also brings together two great organizations with talented management teams."

Miller will become executive chairman. Robert Edwards, Safeway's current president and chief executive officer, will become president and chief executive officer of the combined company.

Brands covered in the deal will include Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw's, Star Market, Super Saver, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos.

Acme has 112 stores and 10,000 employees, mostly in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and a few stores in Delaware and Maryland.

In the Philadelphia region, Safeway sold most of its Genuardi's stores to Giant in January 2012. According to its website, it still operates the Genuardi's on Audubon Village Drive, in Audubon, Pa.

No store closures are expected as a result of this transaction.