The industry seems to believe that Ahold USA, parent of the Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle chains, is the most likely candidate to acquire Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter.
About a third — 32% — of respondents to a survey on SN’s website last week said Ahold would add its southern neighbor to its portfolio of banners. Another 22% voted for Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., and another 22% said the chain would be acquired by private equity. Slight fewer — 18% — voted for Publix Super Markets, the Lakeland, Fla.-based chain that is expanding into Harris Teeter’s core market in Charlotte.
Read more: Harris Teeter Eyes Sale
Both Ahold and Publix have reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring Harris Teeter, and the company itself disclosed in February that its was considering a sale after being approached by two private equity firms. Kroger has not been reported to have expressed interest, but has been mentioned by analysts as a potential buyer.
SN Infographic: Harris Teeter by the Numbers
Harris Teeter, with 209 stores and a history of strong financial performance, has a stock market value of about $2.1 billion, but could fetch as much as $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion, analysts said.