Albertsons was set to be one of the biggest IPOs of 2015 -- until someone dropped the ball

Albertsons’ IPO has been delayed indefinitely and it could be thanks to one critical error leading up to its pricing.

The Idaho-based grocery chain was scheduled to price its offering on Wednesday.

That, it turns out, was the same day that Walmart revealed dismal earnings results.

Goldman Sachs, which was lead underwriter on the IPO, declined to comment for this story. Albertsons’ private-equity owners, Cerberus Capital, didn’t immediately response to a request for comment.

IPO advisers put a lot of consideration into timing — weighing everything from whether other large issuers are in the market to holidays that could keep investors away from road-show meetings.

Sometimes the preferences of a company founder can come into play. When Alibaba Group was planning its IPO, some media reported that founder Jack Ma wanted the stock to begin trading on August 8 (or 8/8) because the number 8 is associated with good luck in China.

Of course, luck does have something to do with it. Investors sentiment can sour for unpredictable reasons.

But some risks can be foreseen. In Albertsons case it is that Walmart was long scheduled to report its results the morning of October 14.

Unfortunately for the company’s planned offering, when Walmart announced earnings it also cut its forward-looking estimates. Its share price dropped as much as 9%, the biggest single-day decline in at least six years.

Later in the day, Albertsons IPO pricing was delayed.

Now, it seems, that Cerberus and Goldman Sachs will have to live with that decision for some time.

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