Cincinnati / OH. (tkc) The Kroger Company, Albertsons Companies Inc. and C+S Wholesale Grocers LLC issued the following joint statement:
- «We remain in active and ongoing dialogue with the Federal Trade Commission and individual state Attorneys General regarding our proposed merger and divestiture plan.
- We believe our merger with Albertsons and the comprehensive divestiture to C+S will result in the best outcomes for customers, associates and our communities.
- 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.
- We remain committed to closing the transaction and providing the meaningful and measurable benefits that we promised when we originally announced the transaction.»
Kroger’s combination with Albertsons will mean lower prices and more choices for more customers. With a proven record of lowering prices year over year, Kroger will invest USD 500 million to reduce prices beginning day one, as well as an incremental USD 1.3 billion to enhance the customer experience. The merger will mean more fresh, affordable food is available to more people in more communities.
Kroger is 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 USD 1 billion to raise wages and comprehensive benefits for all associates post-close. This builds on the USD 1.9 billion in incremental investments the company has made in wages and comprehensive benefits since 2018. Additionally, post-close Kroger will provide 700,000+ part-time and full-time associates access to its continuing education benefit, which offers up to USD 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. This is the best outcome to secure the future of union jobs in the American grocery industry.
The merger will also result in more opportunities to invest in communities across the U.S., as Kroger continues its mission to create neighborhoods free from hunger and food waste. Last year, Kroger announced a commitment to donate 10 billion meals upon completion of the merger to families across the country by 2030. This is enough to feed every person in the cities of Seattle, Denver, Chicago and Boston every meal, every day for nearly two years.
Kroger’s fiscal second quarter ends on August 17, 2024.