Supermarket giant Kroger is gaining market share in several regions through acquisitions like Harris Teeter and more recently Roundy's, as well as by beating back Wal-Mart. Now there's new noise around another possible deal that could grow Kroger's grocery business, particularly in Florida.
Reuters has reported that Cincinnati-based Kroger is a potential bidder for the Fresh Market chain. Fresh Market, which has struggled amid increasing natural and organic grocery competition, put itself in play last fall when it announced it had retained JPMorgan as its financial advisor to explore various options.
On Thursday, Kroger is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens. Investors will be looking for an update on its acquisition of Midwest regional grocer Roundy's, an $800 million deal completed in December. They also will be looking to gauge interest from management in other possible M&A in the grocery space, including for Fresh Market.
Kroger operates stores under such names as Kroger, Ralph's, Dillons, Food 4 Less, QFC, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, City Market and Smith's.