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Companies still expect to finalize merger sometime during first half of 2024.
January 16, 2024
Citing ongoing dialogue with regulators, Kroger, Albertsons, and C&S Wholesale Grocers announced today that the timeline for the merger closure and planned divestures is being pushed back to sometime during the first half of 2024.
"We remain in active and ongoing dialogue with the Federal Trade Commission and individual state Attorneys General regarding our proposed merger and divestiture plan,” the companies said. “In light of our continuing dialogue with the regulators, we are updating our anticipated closure timeline. We currently anticipate that the closing will occur in the first half of Kroger's fiscal 2024. While this is longer than we originally thought, we knew it was a possibility and our merger agreement and divestiture plan accounted for such potential timing.”
Despite the delay, the companies still believe the merger as well as the necessary divestitures associated with the merger will result in the best outcomes for customers and associates affected. “We remain committed to closing the transaction and providing the meaningful and measurable benefits that we promised when we originally announced the transaction," the companies added.
In September 2023, Kroger and Alberstons announced the divesture of 413 stores, along with the QFC, Mariano's, and Carrs brand names to C & S.
The companies maintain that the merger will mean lower prices and more choices for more customers. Further, Kroger will invest $500 million to reduce prices beginning day one, as well as an incremental $1.3 billion to enhance the customer experience. The merger will mean more fresh, affordable food is available to more people in more communities, the companies said.
Kroger also said it remains committed to protecting good-paying union jobs, with no store closures or frontline associates laid off as a result of the merger. In addition, Kroger will invest an incremental $1 billion to raise wages and comprehensive benefits for all associates post-close. This builds on the $1.9 billion in incremental investments the company has made in wages and comprehensive benefits since 2018. Following the merger closure, Kroger will provide 700,000-plus part-time and full-time associates access to its continuing education benefit, which offers up to $21,000 of reimbursement toward higher learning or continued development. The combined company will also expand access to its Goldman Sachs Ayco financial coaching tool.
As the identified divestiture buyer, C&S Wholesale Grocers has also committed to recognize the union workforce and maintain all collective bargaining agreements and is committed to retaining frontline employees and further investing for growth.
Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.
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