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07/10/2013

Kroger Buys Harris Teeter in $2.5B Deal

Grocery powerhouse Kroger will acquire Harris Teeter, a 212-store supermarket chain, in a deal valued at $2.44 billion. Harris Teeter operates in eight Southeastern and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia, and there are no plans to change its brand name or to replace its management team. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the agreement.

The 2,400-plus store Kroger chain will finance the acquisition with debt and will assume Harris Teeter's outstanding debt of approximately $100 million. Kroger expects to achieve annual cost savings of $40 to $50 million over the next three to four years due to the acquisition. Kroger already operates both under the Kroger name and other banners in different markets, including City Market, Fred Meyer, King Soopers and Ralph's.

Kroger brings a national scale to the merger as well as extensive experience with customer loyalty programs. Harris Teeter is known for its skill in fresh and perishable items as well as its private label offerings.

"Harris Teeter is an exceptional company with a great brand, friendly and talented associates, and attractive store formats in vibrant markets run by a first-class management team," said Kroger CEO David Dillon in a statement. "This is a financially and strategically compelling transaction."

Harris Teeter CEO Thomas Dickson said "We are excited about becoming part of The Kroger Co., one of the best food retailers in the U.S., while maintaining the Harris Teeter banner, our management teams, our new store growth plan, our distribution and manufacturing facilities in North Carolina as well as our headquarters in Matthews, NC."

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