The Federal Trade Commission has granted Kroger and Harris Teeter Supermarkets early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to the pending merger transaction between the two companies.
The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending merger, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions. Both companies expect the transaction to be completed before the end of January.
On July 9, 2013, Kroger and Harris Teeter announced a definitive merger agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies. On Oct. 3, 2013, Harris Teeter shareholders approved of the merger agreement. At the closing of the merger, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 in cash for each share of Harris Teeter common stock they own.
The announcement came in conjunction with the Kroger board’s move to declare a quarterly dividend of 16.5 cents per share to be paid on March 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 15.
In September, the company's board of directors raised the quarterly dividend by approximately 10%, to 16.5 cents per share. Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006.
The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time.