NEW YORK — Publix may join Royal Ahold later this month in making a bid for the more than 200 Harris Teeter supermarkets, according to a report published Friday by Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
Virginia and North Carolina would represent new markets for Publix if the Florida-based grocer acquired Harris Teeter. Publix has already marked North Carolina for expansion with plans to open two stores in the state in 2014.
Neither Ahold nor Publix has made an offer, but first-round bids aren’t due until mid-March or later, Bloomberg reported. Bloomberg had pegged Harris Teeter's market value at $2 billion in earlier reports, but noting that grocery companies typically sell at 7x to 10x EBITDA, that valuation today could be as high as $3.1 billion.