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Kroger confirms it is buying rival Albertsons

Al Behrman

The country's largest supermarket chain is getting bigger. Kroger is confirming it has reached a merger deal with Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons. The Cincinnati-headquartered company says the deal is worth $24.6 billion.

The boards of both companies have signed off on the acquisition, according to a release outlining some of the details.

The two companies employ more than 710,000 people in nearly 5,000 stores and various facilities. With the purchase, Kroger now operates in 48 states and the District of Columbia under brands including Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Dillons, Albertsons Safeway, Vons, and many more.

"Albertsons Cos. brings a complementary footprint and operates in several parts of the country with very few or no Kroger stores," says Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and chief executive officer in a statement. "This merger advances our commitment to build a more equitable and sustainable food system by expanding our footprint into new geographies to serve more of America with fresh and affordable food and accelerates our position as a more compelling alternative to larger and non-union competitors."

He continues, "As a combined company, we will build on our similar values to create a culture that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion and fosters a best-in-class associate experience by enabling, supporting and empowering our associates to unlock their full potential. Importantly, the merger secures union jobs and we will continue to work with local unions across America to serve our communities."

Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran says the merger is a testament to the hard work of all employees.

"I am proud of what our 290,000 associates have accomplished, delivering top-tier performance while furthering our purpose to bring people together around the joys of food and to inspire well-being," he writes.

The deal is expected to close early next year.

While Kroger and Albertsons are the largest grocery chains, Walmart has the largest share of the grocery market.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.