Kroger (NYSE: KR ) is about to grow by more than 200 supermarkets. The grocer has reached an agreement to acquire Harris Teeter (UNKNOWN: HTSI.DL ) , both companies announced in a joint press release. Kroger will pay $49.38 per share in cash in a transaction estimated to total $2.44 billion. It also intends to assume Harris Teeter's outstanding debt, which amounts to roughly $100 million.
The deal will provide Kroger an additional 212 supermarkets located in eight states across the Mid-Atlantic region and the Southeast. All told, the company's store tally will be 2,631. Harris Teeter will function as a subsidiary of its new parent and be helmed by its current senior management team.
The acquisition is the largest for Kroger since its 1999 purchase of superstore chain Fred Meyer for around $13 billion, plus debt assumption.
The Harris Teeter acquisition is expected to be accretive to diluted EPS by $0.06-$0.09 in the first full year following the close of the deal. That figure includes allocations for debt reduction, but it excludes transition and transaction costs.
Editor's note: The text of a previous version of this article gave an incorrect total for the proposed deal. The Fool regrets the error.