Monday, June 3, 2013

UPDATE: Ahold could shed light on Harris Teeter acquisition

For months now, rumors have been circulating about who - if anyone - will buy local supermarket company Harris Teeter. But a Dutch company's financial results Tuesday could give a hint about one potential suitor's intents (see below for an update Tuesday).


Royal Ahold, owner of U.S. supermarkets including Stop & Shop and Giant, has been discussed as a possible buyer for Harris Teeter.

Remember, Harris Teeter disclosed in February that it has hired J.P. Morgan to explore a possible sale of the company.

Ahold has been flush with cash since selling its stake in the ICA supermarket chain to another European grocer for $3.1 billion earlier this year. With a $2.3 billion market cap for Harris Teeter, some analysts speculated Ahold could turn around and purchase the Matthews-based grocer.

But Bloomberg News is reporting that analysts now believe Ahold will announce Tuesday that it plans to give back most of the proceeds from the ICA sale back to shareholders in capital payments and share buybacks.

UPDATE: Ahold is returning $2.6 billion worth of capitol to shareholders, according to Bloomberg News.

That would, of course, reduce the amount of cash Ahold has for potential acquisitions, and dampen the likelihood Ahold buys Harris Teeter.

So who would that leave? Other names that have been thrown around as acquirers for Harris Teeter include rivals such as Publix and Kroger, or private equity firms such as Cerberus and Bain. Or, the other possibility might be more likely: That Harris Teeter doesn't sell to anyone and remains independent. What do you think?

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Royal Ahole? My God, that really does describe the Harris Teeter customer base from what I've seen.

Anonymous said...

...and the anonymous commenter

Anonymous said...

I wish they would sell to someone who will bring their prices down. We just went to this nightmare of a grocery store that they opened in Plaza Midwood. High prices, horrible parking, and of course the same elitist soccer mom shoppers. Thought we had gotten rid of them, but figures that they would rush to a store like this so they can be pampered and boss people around. Truly sickening.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
...and the anonymous commenter

June 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM


...From another bloody anonymous commenter, and no doubt one of the HT lovers.

Anonymous said...

Harris Teeter as a company are liars. Misleading and false discounts on products they sell, then won't respond to customer complaints. I wish they would sell every single one of them.

Anonymous said...

Love HT! And no we r no all snobs! Judgmental people. If u don't want to shop there - go to the nasty bi-lo or the nastier food lion!

Anonymous said...

You are snobs and you will split hell wide open for your nasty comments. How dare you talk such trash about other grocery stores when all you want is to treat workers like dirt and feel important. Stay at your racist Harris Teeter and rot.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the new HT on Central. Very disappointing to say the least. Not worth the wait and I'll surely make sure I don't go back.

Shelly said...

HT is so expensive. the BOGO coke products were $6.79 apiece. That makes them $3.40 a 12 pack. Anywhere is so much cheaper. I wish more competition were around to force prices down. I shop anywhere else that I can.

ScottCLT said...

Anon 2:26: "Racist" Harris Teeter? What about Harris Teeter is Racist? I love HT, and do no consider myself a snob nor do I treat any workers there like dirt. And I don't see anyone else doing that either. Just because the stores are upscale does not mean that they are racist. In fact that makes it seem that you are the one injecting any racism into the matter. And for the record, most Food Lions and Bi Los are pretty nasty. Nothing racist about that either - just a fact.

Harris Teeter is clean, the employees are helpful, they always have a great selection of harder to find items that you CANNOT find at Food Lion or other chains, and they do have some great deals if you look for them. I for one hope they stay independent. I certainly wouldn't want my local Harris Teeters to turn into a Stop and Shop, a Food Lion, or a Bi Lo. And I'm glad to support a locally owned company.

Anonymous said...

Scotty,

You pretend to be innocent, yet you are the real wolf, are you not? What a shame. It's obvious you are one of the elitist racists yourself. Isn't it true, Scott, that it's the people who shop at Food Lion that you find 'nasty'. The stores are just as clean as Harris Teeter! The repulsive truth is that you just can't stand people that you think are not as good or wealthy as you, and so obviously it is your kind that will be damned to hell.

Harris Teeter is just a place and and opportunity for your type to do your thing. Go ahead and talk trash about other grocery stores just because you think you are better. Your own racism has come through Scott.

Now, go ahead back down to your sorry Harris Teeter, wait for parking, wait in line, pay more for everything, but at least you will have your own kind around you. May God have mercy on your trashy soul.

Anonymous said...

super stop and shop would b nice

Anonymous said...

I must agree. Food Lions are not nasty. They have great prices and I have never had a problem there. I don't go to grocery stores to pretend like I am at a day spa either, so maybe that's why I like them.

Anonymous said...

3:37 You and Your folks have Compare Foods. At Harris Teeter I have NEVER seen a grown man shopping for groceries with his underwear showing because he likes that thug look. At Harris Teeter I do not have to wait for almost everyone to pay with food stamps. At Harris Teeter they only page associates by speaking English on the overhead speakers...Yes, I'll stay with HT.

Anonymous said...

I guess we just got the confirmation we needed about the racists at Harris Teeter! Thanks for reinforcing what we already knew!

Anonymous said...

Right! See, it really IS more about who they want to be around, and who they think they are, than it is about groceries! You gotta love Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Makes me sick to my stomach.

David said...

I thought the article was about a grocery store, but it seems I stumbled upon a hate fest about race.
It is simple folks. Shop where you prefer and don't go to stores you don't like. Chill a little... It is a grocery store or crying out loud.

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to make up my mind.

I will continue to post until I can work out the love/hate relationship I have with this grocery store.

Sincerely,
Anonymous

Anonymous said...

A little research shows that Food Lion is usually among the worst rated grocery stores. HT, Whole Foods, etc are more expensive. Like many other things, you usually get what you pay for.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2012/04/13/12-Worst-Supermarkets-in-America.aspx?index=5

Anonymous said...

I love HT and have shopped there for decades -- I would be sickened if they sold out. This is news to me that it's a racist store LOL. I thought it was just a clean store that carries what I want, and at about the same prices as the other stores. Believe me, we track costs, and if you buy stuff with VIC and coupons, there is no way you will pay more than you would at BILO and Food Dog -- you will see the same prices and sales at all 3 stores! They also have the best customer service and cashiers by far. If they make a mistake, they are quick to correct it. And gee, I wonder why you might have had to wait in line at the new HT? Is it maybe because it's POPULAR and what people want? I hear WalMart sells groceries -- that's some fun shopping there if you can't handle a quality store like HT. Talk about waiting in line!

Anonymous said...

Let's not cloud this argument with facts!

Anonymous said...

Hardly an accurate picture of Food Lion. They are the largest chain in the nation. Food Lion has always been owned by Delhaize Delhaise bought Food Town in 1974, In 1986 Delhaise rebranded Food Town as Food Lion so they could expand into other markets in the northeast where there was already another chain called Food Town. Obviously Delhaize management of Food Lion has had a great run for almost 40 years. The original ownership only owned the store for 17 years. To claim the company has been in a downward spiral since it was purchased by Delhaize in 1974 is beyond ridiculous, based on their long term growth, profit, and survival
If selling a chain store is a sign of failure (and it isn't necessarily the case at all) Delhaise has been more successful than The original ownership from 1957 – 1974.

Harris Teeter elitists just can’t handle the facts about Food Lion.

Anonymous said...

The facts are clear about the attitudes of Harris Teeter shoppers. Get your noses out of the sky before someone does it for you.

Anonymous said...

Look at the Harris Teeter on Central Avenue. God help us.

Anonymous said...

I'm far more concerned about foreign countries buying out our US meat companies than I am who buys Harris Teeter. Are the proprietors of our food supply chain more important than the consumable items it sells?

Coolbeans said...

Some of the posters on this story seem to have real anger issues and also other issues. How does ones preference for grocery shopping define their views on race? Think about what is really causing these kinds of feelings.

kevin5200 said...

Racist sure, wanting to be around ppl that are like you and have the same values as you is a little bit racist if you also base your choice on race.. otherwise its just trying to be comfortable and feel safe while shopping at a clean quality store.. screw you anonymous..i don't feel guilty for this choice.you hellbound dog.

Anonymous said...

I hope you burn in the pits of hell. You are a racist pig. Harris Teeter can go straight to hell with you too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous kevin5200 said...
Racist sure, wanting to be around ppl that are like you and have the same values as you is a little bit racist if you also base your choice on race.. otherwise its just trying to be comfortable and feel safe while shopping at a clean quality store

No, more like a white republican elitist more than anything. Racist? I have to say yes on that too.

par said...

Interesting. Stop & Shop and Giant are lower end grocery chains. What will this meant for HT? Lower cost, poorer service, better purchasing power, etc.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember seeing all these nasty posts about racism until Foxx made such an issue of his street car and Jones got caught jacking up the values in majority white neighborhoods. What gives with all the hateful posts and accusations of racism? Just because Foxx and Jones supporters made accusations of racism, does that give everyone an excuse to do so? Does it mark you feel important?

Anonymous said...

HT is a lot better than Food Lion. I don't mind Bi-Lo. If Publix ever takes hold here, all the current chains are in trouble.

Anonymous said...

I am from Charlotte and I shopped at HT but my economics took a down turn and I started shopping at Food Lion. The store I go to is not nasty. They don't have the selection HT does but I have found what I need an some other tasty stuff. My food bill has been cut in half and the people that work there have been very nice and helpful. I am just thankful that there was a grocery close so I wouldn't have to deal with Walmart. What ever happens to HT I just hope it doesn't become another whole paycheck we have a couple of those here already.

Anonymous said...

Reply to JUNE 3, 2013 AT 4:40 PM
"Look at the Harris Teeter on Central Avenue. God help us."

He has helped us. The demand for real estate in Plaza Midwood will increase drmatically. And a better selection of food in a beautiful building. God is Good.

Anonymous said...

According to some of these posts I am a racist white republican soccer mom and HT is racist... All my life I believed I was a black Democrat who worked at HT in high school and my parents shopped at the store. And now I shop there. I guess these crazy trolls know me better than myself.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4:39 PM
"The facts are clear about the attitudes of Harris Teeter shoppers. Get your noses out of the sky before someone does it for you."

- Pot calling the kettle black. People just shop where they shop. If you don't like HT, don't shop there and don't worry about.. I mean unless you think you are better than someone else or insecure about something

Anonymous said...

@ Shelly,
Why do you care what their prices are if there are more competitors. There are already several cheaper competitors. The drawback is they aren't as clean and don't have as much selction, or the customer service. To each his own

Anonymous said...

You have never shopped at the "Food Lobster" in Locust or you would have a much different attitude about them. No customer service, limited selection, and the attitude that a customer is just an agravation to be tolerated.I have never seen any employee of this store even offer to assist a customer with getting their groceries to their car, no matter how old or inferm you are, they just don't care. Their management sucks.

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:38. Thanks for plagiarizing my post word for word from the article on Food Lion last week without putting it in quotes or citing the reference.

I'm not sure what facts you think HT shoppers can't handle that my post about FOOD LION establishes about me or anyone else who shops at HT.

I can handle the facts about Food Lion because *I posted* them and I shop at HT and Food Lion.

- John

Anonymous said...

I guess I've spent so much time shopping in blissful isolation at my neighborhood Harris Teeter that I didn't realize Food Lion and BiLo were packed full of delusional, "racist" screaming, seething, taunting psychopaths riddled to the brim with grocery envy!

Anonymous said...

The comments here are freakin' ridiculous. Have you guys read some of what you have written here? It's obvious that you haven't!
As one commenter said, if you don't like Harris Teeter, don't shop there. There is absolutely nobody out there who makes anybody else shop at Harris Teeter, Food Lion, BI-LO, Walmart or any other store in this city or any other city.
There are choices out there and we all decide where we want to go on our own.
And, I personally, don't want Harris Teeter to sell to anyone for 1) I like them and they are one of the stores I shop at and have shopped at for a very, very long time and 2) for all you naysayers out there, be careful what you wish for, you could bring somebody worse by your standards here and that would spoil it for ALL of us.

Wiley Coyote said...

Publix will chip away at Teeter's market share in a methodical fashion. They don't need to buy Teeter. If some properties become available, they may buy the real estate and build their own stores.

Cerebus and Bain would buy them primarily for the property.

Cerebus/SuperValu is already undoing what it did a few years ago when Jewel and other banners rolled up into corporate. They are now undoing that fiasco and reopening buying offices in Chicago, Boise and Portland.

It doesn't really matter what happens to Teeter, as it will be their choice of who to sell to or not sell at all.

Shoppers will go somewhere to buy their food and move on.

Anonymous said...

If Ahold were to buy HT, it would cause great wailing and gnashing of teeth among most elitist HT shoppers. Ahold once owned Bi-Lo, mismanaged it for a decade, and left it with fewer stores, dirtier stores, and higher prices than they started with when they sold it to a hedge fund.

Anonymous said...

HT is about the only place Yao ne can find real ice cream made only from milk,sugar, cream,and the flavor. IIt is the HT brand and no other brand they Cary is real, they have other ingredients that only save the manufacturers money. I like HT and I like real ice cream. The stores are clean, the employees are nice and when I do have a problem with a product, they take care of it in a prompt and curtious manner. I suggest they not sale. If I had the cash, I'd buy them.

Anonymous said...

If Publix decides to come into town I hope they can dismiss the stupid comments and realize there are transplants here like our family that would love to have their superior deli trays and bakery items. So embarassed to witness the attitudes about groceries, for pete's sake.

From a corporate standpoint, I worked for Publix, know their target strategies from first-hand witnessing how they approached a segment of Atlanta. If they want H-T they will be quick to infiltrate and leave competitors in the dust. They closed down Kroger, Winn-Dixie, A&P and local grocers in a period of 6-8 months. Good luck H-T, time to step aside.

Anonymous said...

John,

You are a lying whore. Once you put something on the internet, it is public domain you sorry piece of trash.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Reply to JUNE 3, 2013 AT 4:40 PM
"Look at the Harris Teeter on Central Avenue. God help us."

He has helped us. The demand for real estate in Plaza Midwood will increase drmatically. And a better selection of food in a beautiful building. God is Good.

May God have mercy on you, child. This store is an abomination. Of course you work there or are part of the machine making money off people who can't afford higher than usual grocery items.

You will be paying out of your soccer mom _______ for the six million it cost to build that nasty monstrosity.

Anonymous said...

John - Aren't you out of your league? Don't defend a grocery chain and then not back it up later. You really are one sorry individual.

Anonymous said...

I run the Food Lion in Locust, and I wish you would stand in front of me with those lies.

Anonymous said...

These white racist soccer moms will burn in hell for their hate. Most of us are barely getting by! You are disgusting. Stay the hell in Ballantyne and worship your Mitt Rommney poster!

Anonymous said...

I have stood in front of you and told you how bad your customer service is. It certainly didn't do any good because you have not changed one bit.

Anonymous said...

Liar

Anonymous said...

I want to thank Mayor Foxx for setting the race relations in Charlotte back 25 yrs in the short time he has been in office.
Somewhere he can tie the repeal of the 14th Amendment to the "racists" Harris Teeter shoppers.
Maybe he can propose no charge to the HT shoppers of color, and only charge the white patrons, as is the case with the Light Rail.

Caren said...

To Anon at 3:45, June 3. "Wait for almost everyone to pay with food stamps"? Which century are you shopping in again? Food "stamps" are now debit cards, and the use of them doesn't hold anyone up. Good Lord, clicked the link for HT news and I got sucked into the morass of idiotic Observer comments. I knew there was a reason I stopped reading here. : /

lucy kate said...

Neverminding where I buy my groceries, or whether it makes me racist: for the love of god, can the Charlotte Observer not disable anonymous comments on this blog? C'mon, everyone, if you so strongly believe what it is you are saying, then don't be ashamed or afraid to fully own it -- create a profile, and put a face and a name to your opinions. Unless, of course, all these anonymous comments are just some random weird-o who purposefully posts anonymous nonsense just to enjoy the ensuing sh*t storm, in which case, I got nothin'

Anonymous said...

If customers could only see what we do to there food especially in the fresh food dept. we are taught to not throw anything away and to put it out till it sells. Dropped on ground,out of date,does not matter.always slice a couple extra slices and and jack up the weight of sliced meats and cheeses. Nice company looking out for the customers....

fc73d60e-cf6a-11e2-b064-000bcdcb8a73 said...

I think Anonymous must have been fired from HT at some point, nobody gets this mad about a grocery store, go somewhere else if you don't like shopping there weirdo.

Terrence said...

All of you with these jaded out-of-pocket comments ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I am a african-american native of North Carolina and former resident of Charlotte that has missed Harris Teeter many days over. Like Scott said, they most definitely do have sale; and they're sales are usually on staple items and higher-end items that you couldn't find at other Charlotte chains, and if you did they'd be rediculously expensive. I lived in Charlotte in my 20's and shopped in Harris Teeter dressed however I felt(often as what would be percieved as "thuggish") and never felt out of place. On the contrary, I ofetn found myself walking in and right back out of Food Lion and BiLo, b/c they were dated and high on everything except junk food and soda. the only exception was Bloom. I still don't understand why FL got rid of Bloom in the first place...

With all of that said, I love supporting NC businesses, esp ones that pride themselves on a higher quality of service. if they can't survive on their own; I hope that they are aquired by a private firm that can keep the company in tact as much as possible.

P.S. Nobody told you to go into the new Two-story flagship (Central) in Plaza-Midwood of all places and expect a big sav-a-lot or Aldi. You knew better. sounds like a lot of misguided resentment. Go get a Club sub, a Crunchy Roll, some HT starbucks, or wine, or something...and have a seat.

Mao said...

While not racist when it comes to taking money from any ethnicity, they are in hiring minorities for management positions

For many years Harris teeter, has been behind on considering candidates of any alternate ethnicity ( non Caucasian) for upper management. Though they hire and place many Hispanics and African Americans through their mid management program eg Department managers that is usually the top floor for most of those people. Currently most of those jobs are being threatened by software in the form of computer assisted ordering, which eliminates the need (arguably) for a Manger to place orders for product.
I think it's safe to say that the minorities that once held these positions will all soon be out as mid management as Harris teeter chooses to hire from outside for store managers and assistants.
Harris teeter has every right to hold on to this practice of not giving people of ethnicity an opportunity to advance in rank. I also have the right to withhold my hard earned money and not shop there, because of it
Walmart express has everything the teeter sales and then some. They also have Managers that don't look like me. I call that diversity