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Kroger to Buy Albertsons for About $24.6 Billion

The combined company would include about 5,000 stores.

A Kroger storefront
Kroger wants to get even bigger.

Kroger said Friday it will buy fellow supermarket operator Albertsons for about $24.6 billion including debt in a bid to create a mega chain that can better compete with the likes of Walmart and Amazon.

The deal is expected to draw close scrutiny from antitrust regulators, as it would combine two of the country's largest grocery store chains at a time when food prices and inflation continue to rise.

Under the terms of the deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, Cincinnati-based Kroger will pay $34.10 per share for the Boise, Idaho-based company. The deal also includes the assumption of about $4.7 billion in Albertsons debt.

Kroger operates more than 2,700 stores under brands that include Ralphs, Dillons and Harris Teeter, while Albertsons runs about 2,300 supermarkets under the Albertsons, Safeway and Vons brands. The deal would bring together about 700,000 workers.

If approved by regulators, Kroger says it expects the deal to close in early 2024.