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The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that when Kroger's bid to acquire Harris Teeter for more than $2.4 billion was accepted, there were 18 other companies that asked for and received information about Harris Teeter's competitive and financial condition. There apparently was just one other bid for the company.

According to the story, "In May and June 2012, two private equity firms made visits with Harris Teeter officials, which led to Harris Teeter retaining J.P. Morgan in November 2012 to advise it about a possible sale.

"In late 2012, J.P. Morgan and Harris Teeter made a list of companies that may be interested in an acquisition and sent information to at least 18 companies besides Kroger.
Kroger made its first proposal for acquisition in April with a purchase price between $42 and $45 a share. Another party with a portfolio of supermarkets also made an offer, which led to months of negotiations between Harris Teeter, Kroger and the other party.

"Kroger’s bid was eventually increased to $49.38 per share, or more than $2.4 billion, on July 7 contingent to an agreement the next day. Harris Teeter officials agreed to the deal on July 8."
KC's View:
I have every reason to believe that Kroger was not just the winner of the competition, but also the best possible company to acquire Harris Teeter. They'll respect the brand, they'll bring efficiencies, and they'll learn from the HT folks where appropriate.