Albertsons store front
A delayed i.p.o. represents a setback for Albertsons growth plans.

BOISE, IDAHO – Albertsons Companies Inc. delayed the launch of its initial public offering after shares of publicly traded retailers dropped sharply on news of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s forecast of a 12% decline in profits next year.

Albertsons, which is backed by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, sought to raise $1.531 billion, assuming a price of $24.50 per share, which places Albertsons’ value at nearly $12 billion. The company planned to use the proceeds to pay down debt of $850 million. The i.p.o. has not been withdrawn, according to news reports, but delaying the transaction presents a setback to the company’s plans for growth and debt repayment.

Albertsons is the second-largest grocery retailer in the United States behind Kroger Co. with more than 2,200 stores across 33 states and the District of Columbia.