US/FRANCE: Ahold "interested" in regional retailer Harris Teeter
Ahold hasn’t made a formal bid, sources told the publication
Dutch retailer Ahold is reported to be interested in purchasing regional US retailer Harris Teeter.
According to Bloomberg, Ahold has contacted JP Morgan Chase & Co, the firm Harris Teeter has retained to to "assist" in discussions with certain parties.
Harris Teeter last week confirmed it was exploring a possible sale. It said it was approached by two private-equity firms that had expressed an interest in purchasing the company.
Ahold has not made a formal bid, sources told the publication. A spokesperson for the retailer declined to comment on the reports when contacted by just-food.
Earlier this month, Ahold agreed to sell its shares in Scandinavian retailer ICA for SEK20bn (US$3.11bn)
Two weeks ago, Harris Teeter reported higher underlying sales for its fiscal first quarter in a set of mixed financial results. The company saw comparable-store sales increase 2.5%. However, costs related to starting up ten stores bought from Lowe's hit operating profit, which fell 12.5%.
The group operates around 200 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and Washington DC.
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