Will $KR Buy Out $ACI?


Kroger Co.’s biggest traditional supermarket rival this week said it’s launching a strategic review and its options could include the sale of the company.

Downtown Cincinnati-based Kroger (NYSE: KR), the nation’s largest operator of traditional supermarkets, seems like a natural candidate to consider acquiring Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. (NYSE: ACI). But analysts told me there are a few reasons that’s unlikely, although some left the door open to a possible Kroger bid. And Kroger could go after some of Albertsons’ stores if it does divest them.

Albertsons said Monday it has hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to begin a review of “potential strategic alternatives aimed at enhancing Albertsons’ growth and maximizing shareholder value.” It said it will look at its balance sheet, “potential strategic or financial transactions” and other options. And it said it will be “responding to inquiries,” indicating it would consider offers to buy the compa