Albertsons Companies (NYSE: ACI ) shares are rising premarket after a report stated that C&S Wholesale Grocers, with backing from SoftBank (TYO: 9984 ) Group, is in discussions to acquire grocery stores that Kroger (NYSE: KR ) and Albertsons are selling.
The stores are up for sale as KR and ACI aim to gain regulatory approval for their $25 billion merger.
Bloomberg first reported the news, citing people familiar with the matter.
C&S has partnered with SoftBank for the deal and could announce it as soon as this week, the report states. It would see them acquire most or all of the stores being unloaded for antitrust reasons.
In October, Kroger and Albertsons said they would spin off between 100 and 375 stores if they couldn't find buyers for them. However, Bloomberg stated it's not clear how many stores C&S is purchasing or the price it is paying.
Kroger and Albertsons are aiming to close their merger in early 2024. It would see two of the leading grocery chains in the U.S. combine into a retail giant with nearly 5,000 stores. However, it has faced resistance from regulators due to wages and competition concerns.
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