Kroger sells c-store business for US$2.15 billion

US supermarket chain Kroger has sold nearly 800 convenience stores to British petrol retailer EG Group for $2.15 billion.

The former Kroger stores operate under the brands Loaf ‘N Jug, Kwik Shop, Tom Thumb and Turkey Hill and collectively tuned over $4 billion last year. Proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt, with the balance returned to shareholders.

Kroger, which has 2800 supermarkets across the US, says the divestment is part of its plan to streamline sales and operations, focusing on its core grocery offer.

EG (which stands for Euro Garages) has about 370 petrol stations in the UK, France and the Benelux countries. The Kroger acquisition marks its first foray into the US.

Online publication Retail Dive observed that while Kroger was selling its convenience store business, it is still very interested in opportunities outside grocery.

“The company recently opened its first restaurant, and announced last year it would introduce its first private label clothing line this fall. Reports have linked Kroger with Ace Hardware, as well. It’s hard to say why, exactly, the retailer decided to give up a $4 billion sales generator while pursuing these unproven channels, but Kroger clearly has a plan, and if recent history is any indication, it’s unwise to bet against it.”

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