Harris Teeter looking to sell line of grocery stores

March 24, 2013 by  

Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., with headquarters in Matthews, North Carolina, recently announced that it is looking to sell its chain of grocery stores located primarily in the Triangle, and has attracted interest from the Dutch owner of Stop & Shop stores, Royal Ahold AV.

Harris Teeter has retained JP Morgan Chase & Co. in order to evaluate options and has been contacted by Ahold. According to people that have knowledge with regards to the process, Ahold has not yet made a formal bid. No doubt brochure printers are being used by the company so that Ahold can have as much information as it needs in order to make an informed decision.

Patrick Roquas, an analyst at Rabobank, said that it is most likely that Ahold will purchase Harris Teeter, given its acquisition history. It would help the company to expand in Washington, D.C. and in the southern parts of the United States. Karen Short, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets added that Ahold appears to have sufficient funds in order to complete the purchase. Other companies that have expressed interest in purchasing Harris Teeter are Publix Super Markets Inc., based in Lakeland, Florida; and Kroger Co., based in cincinnati.

Two grocers from North Carolina co-founded Harris Teeter in 1960. In the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida, it has over 200 stores. For its fiscal year that ended on October 2, 2012, the company reported that its revenues were $4.54bn.