Regional US retailer Harris Teeter has confirmed it is exploring a possible sale of the company.

The supermarket chain early this week declined to comment on reports it was exploring strategic options including the possibility of a sale.

However, in a statement released yesterday, the firm confirmed it has retained JP Morgan to "assist" in discussions with certain parties regarding strategic alternatives.

Harris Teeter said it was approached by two private-equity firms that had expressed an interest in purchasing the company.

"In order to fulfill its duty to its shareholders to evaluate opportunities to increase shareholder value, the company retained JP Morgan to assist it in conducting discussions with certain highly qualified parties."

The retailer said it intends to continue its "strategic new store growth plan" and maintain the employment of its associates across its facilities.

"There can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any transaction. If a transaction were entered into, there can be no assurance as to the price, timing or other terms of such transaction. The company does not plan to provide any additional information until such discussions are concluded," it said.

Last week, the retailer 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%.

Show the press release

Harris Teeter Supermarkets Confirms Retention of J.P. Morgan as Financial Advisor

MATTHEWS, N.C--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While it is the long-standing policy of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. (NYSE: HTSI) (the "Company") not to comment on rumors regarding mergers and acquisitions, in response to certain media articles as well as to remove any disruption to the conduct of its business and its associates, the Company confirmed today that it has retained J.P. Morgan Securities LLC ("J.P. Morgan") to assist the Company in holding discussions with certain parties regarding strategic alternatives. The Company was approached by two private equity firms who expressed an interest in purchasing the Company. In order to fulfill its duty to its shareholders to evaluate opportunities to increase shareholder value, the Company retained J.P. Morgan to assist it in conducting discussions with certain highly qualified parties. The Company intends to continue its strategic new store growth plan and maintain the employment of its associates in its stores, and its distribution and manufacturing facilities in Indian Trail, Greensboro, and High Point, North Carolina, as well as at its corporate headquarters in Matthews, North Carolina.

There can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any transaction. If a transaction were entered into, there can be no assurance as to the price, timing or other terms of such transaction. The Company does not plan to provide any additional information until such discussions are concluded.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve uncertainties, including those related to the Company's discussions and evaluations and future plans described above. Various important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, the outcome of the discussions described above and the extent and speed of successful execution of strategic initiatives. Other factors not identified above could cause actual results to differ materially from those included, contemplated or implied by the forward-looking statements made in this news release.

 

Original source: Harris Teeter