Safeway might put
itself up for sale

NEW YORK — Safeway says it’s in talks to put itself up for sale.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based supermarket operator says discussions are ongoing but that it hasn’t yet reached an agreement. It also added that it isn’t certain that the talks will end in a deal.

Safeway, which has more than 1,300 U.S. locations, says it’s postponing its investor conference that had been scheduled for early March. The company runs its namesake Safeway stores, along with Vons and other grocery chains.

Safeway Inc. is Southern Arizona’s 29th-largest employer, with 1,685 full-time-equivalent employees at the start of 2013, the Star 200 survey shows.

Gap’s minimum wage
rising to $10 in 2015

Clothing chain Gap says it will raise the minimum hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $10 in 2015.

The San Francisco company said Wednesday that the minimum wage for workers at all of its brands will be raised to $9 an hour in 2014 and $10 an hour in 2015.

Gap said the increases will affect about 65,000 store employees.

Gap Inc.’s stores include Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

President Obama applauded the move by Gap, but Gap shares fell 4 cents to $42.19 on Wednesday.

Facebook buying
WhatsApp for $19B

NEW YORK — Facebook is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for up to $19 billion, by far the company’s largest acquisition.

Facebook says it is keeping WhatsApp as a separate service, just as it did with Instagram, which it bought for about $715.3 million.

WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users. In comparison, Twitter had 241 million users at the end of 2014.

Signet Jewelers
buying Zale Corp.

DALLAS — Signet Jewelers said Wednesday that it agreed to buy Zale Corp. to expand in North America.

Excluding Zale’s estimated $500 million in debt, the deal is worth about $900 million.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press