CINCINNATI – The Kroger Co. has completed the acquisition of the outstanding shares of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. in a transaction valued at $49.38 per outstanding share, or about $2.5 billion.

“We are pleased that our merger is complete and look forward to bringing together the best of Kroger and Harris Teeter to benefit our customers, associates and shareholders,” said W. Rodney McMullen, CEO of Kroger. “This merger brings the exceptional Harris Teeter brand and a complementary base of stores in attractive markets to the Kroger family. We have long respected Harris Teeter’s customer orientation, friendly and professional associates, strong management team, and company values — which are consistent with ours. Together, through our ‘Customer 1st Strategy,’ we are going to be an outstanding combination.”

Together, the company will operate 2,641 supermarkets and employ more than 368,000 people in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. and will continue to be led by Harris Teeter’s current president, Fred Morganthall. There are no plans to close stores. Kroger is headquartered in Cincinnati, and Harris Teeter’s headquarters remains in Matthews, NC.

In addition to the completion of the merger, the companies said Thomas Dickson has retired as chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. while John Woodlief has stepped down as executive vice president and CFO of Harris Teeter.