American Stores Co. is negotiating to sell all or part of its Alpha Beta Co. supermarket unit to a company that operates 89 Boys and Viva markets in Southern California, according to a report Tuesday.

Representatives of the would-be buyer, Quality Foods International Inc. of Los Angeles, will meet with officials of Salt Lake City-based American Stores on Thursday to discuss the sale, The Orange County Register reported.Former Attorney General John Van de Kamp fought American Stores' 1988 acquisition of Lucky Stores, based in Dublin, Calif., on the grounds that it would reduce competition in Southern California.

After meeting defeat in the courts, American settled the case last May by agreeing to sell 152 Alpha Beta and nine Lucky markets within five years.