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    Kroger Agrees to Purchase 17 Albertson's Stores Primarily in Houston

    CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. today announced it has reached an agreement to purchase 17 supermarkets and two vacant parcels of land located primarily in the Houston area from Albertson's Inc.

    CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. today announced it has reached an agreement to purchase 17 supermarkets and two vacant parcels of land located primarily in the Houston area from Albertson's Inc.

    Both companies expect to complete the transaction, which is subject to certain customary conditions and regulatory review, within 45 days. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Sixteen of the Albertson's stores that Kroger has agreed to purchase are located in the Houston area, which ranks among the 10 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the nation. One store is located in Sulphur, La. All of the stores will become part of Kroger's Southwest Division, which currently operates 190 stores in Texas and Louisiana.

    The 17 stores average approximately 60,000 square feet in size, and all include pharmacies.

    "We believe these stores will provide exciting growth opportunities for Kroger as we continue to expand our business in Houston," said Bob Zincke, president of Kroger's Southwest Division. "We look forward to welcoming the associates of these Albertson's stores to the Kroger family. We plan to meet with these associates as soon as possible to discuss career opportunities with Kroger."

    In a separate announcement, Kroger named new division reporting assignments.

    Warren F. Bryant, Kroger senior vice president, will be responsible for the following retail divisions: Atlanta, Central, Delta, Fred Meyer Stores, QFC, Mid-Atlantic, and Jay C Food Stores. Bryant, who currently works at Fred Meyer's division office in Portland, Ore., will relocate to Kroger's corporate headquarters in Cincinnati.

    Donald E. Becker, Kroger senior vice president, will be responsible for the following divisions: Cincinnati/Dayton, Mid-South, Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Fry's.

    James R. Thorne, Kroger senior vice president, will be responsible for Kroger's Columbus, Michigan, Southwest, Dillon Stores, King Soopers, Smith's and Convenience Store divisions.

    All three executives will continue to report to David B. Dillon, Kroger president and chief operating officer.

    "This realignment of division reporting assignments reflects the success of Kroger's merger integration and lays the foundation for continued growth in the years ahead," said Dillon.

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