Kroger Co. has agreed to buy Albertsons Cos. in a deal with an enterprise value of $24.6 billion that would join the two largest U.S. operators of traditional supermarkets.
Investors will receive $34.10 for each share in Albertsons, which includes a special dividend, the companies said in a statement. The companies plan to sell as many as 375 stores through a spinoff.
If completed, the tie-up would give rise to a grocery giant with increased buying power and an opportunity to save on costs as brick-and-mortar retailers invest heavily to enhance their online offerings. While the deal would create a beefed-up competitor to Walmart Inc. and other rivals, it’s sure to face tough antitrust scrutiny as U.S. regulators under President Joe Biden cast a more skeptical eye on big mergers.
Kroger rose 1.7% this year through Oct. 12, the day before Bloomberg News reported on the deal talks. Albertsons fell 15% during the same period, while an S&P index of consumer-staples companies slid 12%.