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Kroger, Albertsons reportedly moving forward on plans to divest stores

The stores that Kroger and Albertsons reportedly may sell are estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, according to a Reuters report.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Kroger and Albertsons are reportedly moving forward with plans to sell 250 to 300 stores amid U.S. antitrust concerns over their merger, according to a Reuters report, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Kroger's proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons, as some U.S. lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups aim to block the deal over concerns it could lead to grocery price hikes.

The report said that according to sources, the stores that Kroger and Albertsons may sell could be worth more than $1 billion and that the stores are located across all the regions where the two companies operate, including the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Phoenix and Chicago.

Kroger and Albertsons operate a total of 4,996 stores.

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The sources also noted that Kroger and Albertsons have begun to "sound out potential buyers for the stores and have been discussing their plans with the FTC to get its blessing." 

The companies had previously said they may divest between 100 and 375 stores by placing them in a new company that Albertsons shareholders would own. However in a regulatory filing Kroger said the upper limit for divestitures was 650 stores. Kroger and Albertsons will choose to proceed with the spin-off if they are unable to strike a deal with a potential buyer, according to the report.

Prospective buyers for the stores include Ahold Delhaize, which operates the Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion and Hannaford chains in the United States.

[Read more: Kroger to acquire Albertsons for $24.6B]