Ahold Delhaize makes major acquisition

King Kullen Grocery Co. stores will become Stop & Shop locations

Ahold Delhaize is buying out the competition, as the company’s largest U.S. banner Stop & Shop will acquire rival King Kullen Grocery Co. The deal includes King Kullen’s 32 supermarkets, five Wild By Nature natural foods stores and use of its corporate offices in Bethpage, N.Y.

Although plans for the acquired units were not immediately made clear, the deal signals an aggressive move to strengthen Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop’s market share on Long Island, where hard discounter Lidl is preparing to take over two dozen former Best Market stores, according to Grocery Business. Aldi and ShopRite have also established a stronger presence in the market in recent years as the 2005 A&P bankruptcy crumbled one-time Long Island stalwarts Pathmark and Waldbaums.

"This transaction underscores our commitment to further strengthen the positions of our great local brands in the U.S., both through organic growth and fill-in acquisitions," said Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize.

The acquisition is currently expected to close during the first quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.