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15 Nevada Albertsons to be sold if merger with Smith’s parent company is approved

Fifteen Albertsons stores in Nevada will be sold in preparation for the grocery chain’s merger with Kroger, pending regulatory approval, the companies said.

It’s not immediately known which stores in the Silver State will be sold to C&S Wholesale Grocers as part of the divestiture plan to address the grocery giants’ proposed merger announced Friday. The news about local grocery stores is part of a larger plan to sell off 413 stores for $1.9 billion.

“Because we are still in the regulatory process, we are not in a position at this time to share the specific locations that will be divested to continue serving the community under a different owner,” a Kroger spokesperson said in an email. “We anticipate being able to share these details closer to closing.”

Albertsons and Kroger, operating on the Smith’s, Albertsons, Vons and Safeway brands in Nevada, announced the $24.6 billion merger agreement in October 2022. The two companies have said they want to close the deal by early 2024.

The divestiture sale plan to C&S Wholesale, which operates the Piggly Wiggly and Grand Union grocery chains in the Midwest, South and Northeast, is part of an effort to quell antitrust concerns from the Federal Trade Commission.

Kroger and Albertsons officials say the divestiture plan ensures that no stores will close from the merger. C&S Wholesale has agreed to honor existing collective bargaining agreements at unionized stores.

Still, some consumer and union groups have opposed the deal for its potential to hurt competition and ultimately raise prices, especially at a time with persistently high food inflation.

About 15 states are investigating the merger’s potential impact and the Nevada Attorney General’s office is distributing a survey and hosting a series of listening sessions on the subject. Meanwhile, other state officials are speaking up: Secretaries of state in seven states, including neighboring Arizona, asked the Federal Trade Commission to block the acquisition in an Aug. 16 letter.

Kroger, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, operates roughly 2,800 stores in 35 states, including brands like Ralphs and Harris Teeter. Albertsons, based in Boise, Idaho, operates about 2,270 stores in 34 states, including brands like Safeway, Jewel Osco and Shaw’s. Together the companies employ around 710,000 people.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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