NEW YORK (AP) – Kroger, the country’s largest traditional supermarket operator, said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. for about $2.44 billion in cash, boosting its presence in key Southeastern and mid-Atlantic markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cincinnati-based Kroger will pay $49.38 for each of the supermarket chain’s shares. The price represents a 2 percent increase over the company’s Monday closing stock price.
“This is a financially and strategically compelling transaction and a unique opportunity for our shareholders and associates,” Kroger Chairman and CEO David Dillon said in a statement.
The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards, but remains subject to Harris Teeter shareholder approval. Harris Teeter announced in February that it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.
Harris Teeter operates 212 stores in eight Southeastern and mid-Atlantic states and Washington, along with a pair of distribution centers and a dairy facility in North Carolina. Its fiscal 2012 revenue totaled about $4.5 billion.
In comparison, Kroger operates 2,419 stores in 31 states. In addition to its flagship brand of supermarkets, it also owns Ralphs, Fry’s, Food 4 Less and other brands. The acquisition adds another three states to its store footprint.
Kroger’s Memphis-based Delta Division operates 115 Kroger grocery stores and 70 fuel centers in five states.
After the deal closes, Harris Teeter will become a Kroger subsidiary.
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