Grocery store giant Kroger is in talks to merge with rival Albertsons.
A deal could be reached as soon as this week, but no final decision has been made and talks could still be delayed or falter, Bloomberg reported, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.
The all-cash acquisition could be announced as soon as Friday morning, CNBC reported, also citing anonymous sources.
Shares of Albertsons jumped more than 11% after reports of the merger, while Kroger’s stock dropped about 2%.
$24.6 billion deal:Kroger to acquire Albertsons
The merger would make a combined chain with a market valuation of about $47 billion and would be one of the biggest in recent years in retail, Reuters reported.
The grocers would combine for a total of about 5,000 stores across the United States.
Alberstons, based in Boise, Idaho, operates 2,220 stores in 34 states, including brands like Vons, Safeway, and Shaw’s. Kroger, based in Cincinnati, operates 2,800 stores in 35 states, including brands like Food 4 Less, Ralphs, Smith’s and Harris Teeter. Together the companies employ around 710,000 people.
The news of the potential deal arrives as grocers are struggling with runaway inflation and supply chain disruptions after the pandemic.