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Kroger to buy online retailer Vitacost for $280 mln

July 2 (Reuters) - Kroger Co said it would buy online retailer Vitacost.com Inc for about $280 million in a bid to expand its online presence.

The biggest U.S. supermarket operator's $8 per share offer repre4sents a 27.3 percent premium to Vitacost shares' Tuesday closing of $6.28 on the Nasdaq.

Vitacost.com sells vitamins, herbs, supplements, sports nutrition and beauty care products and organic foods to about 2.3 million active customers, Kroger said.

(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)