Kroger's merger with Harris Teeter is now complete, company executives said in a press release on Wednesday.
The Federal Trade Commission approved the $2.5 billion deal earlier this month, clearing the way for the final closing stages. Hampton Roads is one of four areas where the two banner stores overlap.
“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,” said W. Rodney McMullen, Chief Executive Officer of Kroger. “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."
It has been unclear to date exactly what, if anything, will change in Harris Teeter stores in the Hampton Roads area.
Together, the company will operate 2,641 supermarkets across 34 states and the District of Columbia.
According to a corporate press release, 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.
There are no plans to close stores, and associates will continue to have employment opportunities.
Kroger is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH and Harris Teeter’s headquarters remains in Matthews, NC.
The deal is the fourth-largest supermarket acquisition in the past 10 years, according to Bloomberg. It is Kroger's biggest takeover since it bought Fred Meyer in 1998 for $12 billion.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Harris Teeter shareholders received $49.38 per share.
Kroger operates seven stores in the region, including one in York County in the Kiln Creek area. A new Kroger Marketplace, designed to offer home goods and groceries, opened in Virginia Beach last year. Additional marketplace stores are under construction in Suffolk and Portsmouth.
There are 13 Harris Teeter stores in Hampton Roads, with locations in Williamsburg, Newport News and Suffolk.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun