Kroger Co. KR and Albertsons Companies Inc. ACI announced Friday an agreement to sell 413 stores and 8 distribution centers across 17 states to C&S Wholesale Grocers LLC for $1.9 billion in cash, as part of the plan to gain regulatory approval of Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons. The sale plan includes 2 offices and 5 private label brands. “This comprehensive divestiture plan marks a key next step toward the completion of the merger by extending a well-capitalized competitor into new geographies,” Kroger and Albertsons said in a statement. “The divestiture plan ensures no stores will close as a result of the merger and that all frontline associates will remain employed, all existing collective bargaining agreements will continue, and associates will continue to receive industry-leading health care and pension benefits alongside bargained-for wages.” Kroger’s stock fell 1.8% in premarket trading and Albertsons shares gained 0.6%. Earlier, Kroger reported second-quarter sales that missed expectations and said it recorded a $1.4 billion charge during the quarter as it settled a majority of the opioid claims against the company.

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