Kroger and Albertsons could be close to selling an undisclosed number to C&S Wholesale Grocers, as a means towards cinching regulatory approval for the two companies’ $24.6 billion merger deal, according to reporting by Bloomberg.
It has been speculated that both Kroger and Albertsons would have to divest stores in order to appease antitrust regulators. Kroger and Albertsons initially outlined the potential sale of 100 to 375 stores, but have since disclosed they would cap divested stores at 650 locations. According to Bloomberg, C&S intends to acquire “most or all of the stores” they are unloading for antitrust reasons.
The number of stores involved in the C&S deal has not been revealed, nor have any other details. Reuters, however, is saying the sale will involve over 400 stores at a cost of over $2 billion. The acquisition could happen in the coming days, Bloomberg reports.
C&S lost one of its largest grocery customers, Ahold Delhaize, when the company transitioned to self-distribution in 2019. Acquisitions could help C&S offset that loss, according to Reuters.
The Keene, N.H.-based C&S, which made $30 billion in revenue in 2022, supplies over 7,500 grocery stores across the country. The wholesaler also owns a small number of grocery stores, including 11 Grand Union stores in New York and Vermont and several Piggly Wiggly locations in Wisconsin and the Southeast.
Neither Kroger, Albertsons, nor C&S Wholesale Grocers had responded to a request for comment in time for publication of this article.
The Kroger, Albertsons merger continues to receive resistance. In mid-August, multiple secretaries of state sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Kahn asking the agency to stop the merger. The group said the deal would allow Kroger and Albertsons to control a quarter of the U.S. food retail market.
Labor unions and other groups have also come out in opposition to the merger.
The FTC has begun investigating certain aspects of the deal, looking into whether the proposed merger would put pressure on suppliers, which in turn could hurt smaller grocery chains.
Kroger and Albertsons could be close to selling an undisclosed number of stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers, as a means towards cinching regulatory approval for the two companies’ $24.6 billion merger deal. Kroger and Albertsons initially outlined the potential sale of 100 to 375 stores, but have since said they would cap divested stores at 650. So where do you think this deal falls? How many stores will C&S be looking to buy?
Let us know in the comments below, or email your thoughts to the SN Staff at [email protected]. Be sure to include your full name and work title.