Harris Teeter confirms reports of possible sale

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter on Wednesday confirmed an earlier Wall Street Journal report that the grocer was in the process of exploring strategic options. 

"While it is the long-standing policy of Harris Teeter Supermarkets not to comment on rumors regarding mergers and acquisitions, in response to certain media articles, as well as to remove any disruption to the conduct of its business and its associates, [Harris Teeter] confirmed today that it has retained J.P. Morgan Securities to assist the company in holding discussions with certain parties regarding strategic alternatives," the grocer stated in a press release. "[Harris Teeter] was approached by two private equity firms who expressed an interest in purchasing the company. In order to fulfill its duty to its shareholders to evaluate opportunities to increase shareholder value, the company retained J.P. Morgan to assist it in conducting discussions with certain highly qualified parties."

Harris Teeter does not plan to provide any additional information until such discussions are concluded, the company stated.