Cerberus Said To Be Mulling Bid For Harris Teeter, Other Chains

Harris Teeter

Cerberus Capital Management LP, which earlier this year acquired several chains from Supervalu, is considering about half a dozen grocery chains for potential bids—including Harris Teeter Supermarkets—as it weighs whether to further expand its grocery business, The Wall Street Journal reports.

As The Shelby Report previously reported, Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter is said to be considering a sale. The grocery chain operates approximately 200 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia.

On May 8, the company said in a securities filing that it is in discussions with “certain parties” about strategic alternatives but that it is unknown whether the talks will result in a deal, the paper says.

Another private-equity firm, Bain Capital LLC, also has been eyeing a potential bid for the chain, people familiar with the situation told the Journal.

“Harris Teeter would be a departure for Cerberus,” the Journal reports. “The grocer offers higher-end goods compared with Cerberus’s mostly down-market chains. Also, it has a veteran management team and is seen as better-run and less of a turnaround candidate relative to some of the other businesses the firm is looking at, said (a) person familiar with the matter, who added that Cerberus at this point hasn’t decided whether to seriously pursue a bid.”

Cerberus is mostly focused on small, lower-margin businesses that are closely held, a person told the Journal.


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