Harris Teeter Hangs Out ‘For Sale’ Sign
Harris Teeter, the upscale grocery chain headquartered in North Carolina, has confirmed that it has hired J.P. Morgan to assist it as it pursues strategic alternatives.
According to a Charlotte Observer report, two unnamed private equity firms approached Harris Teeter to determine management’s interest in selling the company.
What company ultimately buys Teeter could determine its eventual fate.
RetailWire BrainTrust panelist David Livingston told the Observer, "I would expect one of the private equity retail morticians to put the company on life support and sell off all its organs."
Others think the grocery chain is more likely to be purchased by a competitor. A chain such as Publix, for example, already engaged in a northward push and starting to move into Teeter’s territory, could use an acquisition to accelerate its expansion. Teeter currently operates stores in eight states and Washington, D.C.
Ahold and Kroger were mentioned as possible suitors in a Wall Street Journal article on Teeter’s plans.
"We’ll be consolidators in that we’ll continue to buy assets, but I don’t think it will be a clear strategy that we’ll go out and buy the world," Kroger CEO David Dillon told the Journal.
- Harris Teeter Supermarkets Confirms Retention of J.P. Morgan as Financial Advisor – Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc./Business Wire
- With a possible sale on Harris Teeter, who might be buying? – The Charlotte Observer
- Harris Teeter Considering Sale – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
What is your evaluation of Harris Teeter as it is currently configured? What potential acquirer would be the best match?