US retail chains The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos, currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 largest supermarket retailers in the country, have announced that the companies are going to merge.
According to Kroger’s press release, the merger will expand customer reach and improve proximity to offer fresh and affordable food to around 85 million households.
Kroger will purchase the outstanding shares of Albertsons Companies, Inc, common and preferred stock with an estimated value of $34.10 per share, which totals a value of about $24.6 billion, including a net debt of $4.7 billion.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO said: “Albertsons Cos. brings a complementary footprint and operates in several parts of the country with very few or no Kroger stores. This merger advances our commitment to build a more equitable and sustainable food system”.
At the moment, both retailers employ over 710,000 associates, operate 4996 stores under different banners, 66 distribution centres, 52 manufacturing plants, 3972 pharmacies and 2015 fuel centres.
Kroger aims to lower prices for customers, investing costs savings to reduce prices and the company is also planning to invest $1.3 million in Albertsons stores to improve them.