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TMCNet:  Kroger To Buy Vitacost.com For $8.00/shr

[July 02, 2014]

Kroger To Buy Vitacost.com For $8.00/shr

(dpa-AFX International Compact Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - The Kroger Co. (KR) and Vitacost.com, Inc. (VITC), an online retailer of healthy living products, announced a definitive merger agreement under which Kroger will purchase all outstanding shares of Vitacost.com for $8.00 per share in cash, or approximately $280 million.


Kroger expects to achieve a 2.00 - 2.20 net debt to EBITDA ratio by mid-to-late 2015. The company also confirmed its net earnings per share growth guidance range of $3.19 to $3.27 for fiscal 2014. Kroger expects to maintain its current long-term net earnings per share growth rate of 8 - 11%, plus a growing dividend.

Vitacost.com, one of the largest pure eCommerce companies in the nutrition and healthy living market, offers more than 45,000 products including vitamins, minerals, herbs, supplements, sports nutrition, beauty care products and natural and organic foods to approximately 2.3 million active customers.

Kroger will commence a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Vitacost.com common stock. Any shares of Vitacost.com common stock not acquired in the tender offer promptly will be acquired by Kroger in a subsequent merger. The tender offer and merger are subject to Vitacost.com stockholders tendering at least a majority of the outstanding shares of Vitacost.com common stock in the tender offer. The company noted that holders of approximately 26.2% of the outstanding shares of Vitacost.com common stock have agreed to support the transaction. The deal is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2014.

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