Kroger Co. completes merger with Harris Teeter Supermarkets - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Kroger Co. completes merger with Harris Teeter Supermarkets

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The Kroger Co. announced Jan. 29 its merger with Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. was completed Jan. 28.

Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 per share of Harris Teeter common stock as part of the merger agreement.

"We are pleased that our merger is complete and look forward to bringing together the best of Kroger and Harris Teeter to benefit our customers, associates and shareholders," Kroger Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen said in a news release. "This merger brings the exceptional Harris Teeter brand and a complementary base of stores in attractive markets to the Kroger family.

"We have long respected Harris Teeter's customer orientation, friendly and professional associates, strong management team and company values — which are consistent with ours."

The merger allows Kroger to expand with the Harris Teeter base of 227 stores in the fast-growing and attractive southeastern and mid-Atlantic markets and in Washington, D.C.

Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores under the Harris Teeter brand name as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. According to a news release from Kroger, there are no plans to close stores.

The company will, together, operate 2,641 supermarkets and employ more than 368,000 associates across 34 states and the District of Columbia. Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. and will continue to be led by Harris Teeter's current president, Fred Morganthall.

Thomas W. Dickson, outgoing chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. said he was excited Kroger "has recognized the value in Harris Teeter."

"This successful transaction is, first and foremost, a tribute to our outstanding management teams and associates," Dickson said. "Their tireless commitment to delivering great value and excellent customer service has been instrumental in building Harris Teeter into the unique brand that it is today.

"The merger with Kroger provides the opportunity to continue to expand the Harris Teeter brand as well as to provide future employment and career advancement opportunities for our associates in an increasingly competitive market."

Harris Teeter had revenues of $4.7 billion for fiscal year 2013. Kroger financed the transaction through a combination of debt issued in December 2013 and commercial paper.

Kroger is headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio and Harris Teeter's headquarters remains in Matthews, N.C.