Harris Teeter shareholders approve merger with Kroger

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In a very brief meeting Thursday at the Harris Teeter corporate headquarters in Matthews, shareholders approved the merger with Kroger.

The CEO started the meeting by discussing why the company wants to merge with Kroger, with the biggest reason being pricing.

Harris Teeter can't compete with huge retailers like Walmart, and he said price is the No. 1 reason why people switch grocery stores.

No shareholders spoke or asked any questions. It was announced that about 80 percent of the shareholders voted to approve the merger.

Shareholder Jim Love told Eyewitness News why he thinks it’s the right move.

“The cost, price, seems to be everything. Walmart is all about price, so it helps Harris Teeter to have lower costs of products,” he said.

Harris Teeter is also facing new competition. Publix has several stores in the works in Charlotte and two already open in York County. It just announced a deal to take over seven Bi-Lo stores in Charlotte.

Harris Teeter executives hope Kroger’s buying power can help them maintain their dominance in Charlotte.

If the merger gets regulatory approval, the deal could close later this year.

Only 72 percent of shareholders voted to approve executive compensation for the merger including what’s called Golden Parachute compensation if they are terminated because of the deal.

CEO Tom Dickson could get a $16 million payout.

If they get regulatory approval, Harris-Teeter officials said the deal could close later this year.