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Kroger, Albertsons, C&S Divestiture Postponed

Kroger, Albertsons Companies, and C&S Wholesale Grocers said Monday that the divestiture wherein Kroger and Albertsons would sell select stores, banners, distribution centers, offices, and private label brands to C&S Wholesale Grocers, in connection with their proposed merger, will be delayed.

Originally set to close in early 2024, the new closing date is estimated to be August 17, the end of the first half of Kroger’s fiscal 2024.

"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," said the three companies in a joint statement.

“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."

According to Kroger, C&S has committed to recognizing the existing union workforce and maintaining all collective bargaining agreements. Moreover, the retailer emphasized it will retain frontline employees and make growth investments.

The news comes as the FTC reviews the transaction to decide whether to challenge the proposed merger. On Thursday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson revealed plans to file a lawsuit to block the merger.

Related: Washington State Will Sue to Block Kroger, Albertsons Merger; Kroger, Albertsons to Sell Stores to C&S