Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
The police chief for Gulf Shores along Alabama's coast is weighing-in on the actions of the law enforcement commander in charge of Ferguson, Missouri's in the wake of an escalating crisis brought on byMore >>
Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore wrote a blistering open letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson, who was given command of law enforcement operations following days of looting and rioting in the city.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 12:50 PM EDT2014-08-19 16:50:52 GMT
Sixteen people have been arrested in Gaston County after officers began a round-up and arrested people for drug charges. The Gaston County Police Department worked with the Dallas Police Department toMore >>
Charges range from the sale and delivery of crack cocaine, pills, methamphetamine and marijuana, to trafficking in opiates.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:26 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:26:54 GMT
William Marcell Gray. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
Three men have been arrested by detectives with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, following a sting operation on Monday at public restrooms near the Lake Charles Civic Center and the Interstate 10 beach.More >>
Three men have been arrested by detectives with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, following a sting operation on Monday at public restrooms near the Lake Charles Civic Center and the Interstate 10 beach. More >>
CHARLOTTE, NC (Jennifer Thomas/Charlotte Business Journal) -
Two more private-equity firms have surfaced as possible suitors for Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal.
Cerberus Capital Management LP is considering a number of grocery chains for potential bids, including Harris Teeter, according to the report.
The report also says private-equity firm Bain Capital is potentially interested in the Matthews-based grocery chain.
Bain did not return a request from the Charlotte Business Journal for comment.
"Per policy, Cerberus doesn't comment on market rumor and speculation," says Peter Duda, a spokesman for Cerberus.
Harris Teeter also declined to comment Thursday, referring only to its earlier statement acknowledging it is considering a possible sale.
Harris Teeter has remained mum since announcing in mid-February that it had retained J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as a financial adviser to assist the company as it considered strategic alternatives.
"These discussions are continuing; however there can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any transaction," the company wrote in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on May 8.
That filing notes that if a transaction is entered into, there can be no assurance related to price, timing or other terms.
"The company does not plan to provide any additional information until discussions are concluded," the statement says.
That has done little to quell speculation about who might be interested in the grocery chain. To date, that list has included rivals such as Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV, owner of Stop & Shop stores, as well as Kroger Co. and Publix Supermarkets Inc.
Publix has stores in Tega Cay and Indian Land, and it will open locations next year in Ballantyne and in South End.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has said previously speculation about its interest in Harris Teeter is just a rumor. However, it has also aid it is "aggressively looking to expand in the North Carolina market."
It's 50-50 whether the buyer will be a private-equity firm or a rival grocer looking to make a strategic move, says Chuck Cerankosky, managing director at Cleveland-based Northcoast Research. Cerankosky is a equity-research analyst who covers the food-marketing sector.
"It's the (Harris Teeter) board's job to find all of the possible buyers," he says.
Cerberus could be a good fit. The private-equity firm has been active with food retailers and could find Harris Teeter attractive if the price is right, Cerankosky notes.
"I think it's a possible suitor — I just don't know how likely," he says. "There's been any number of names thrown around from the private-equity investment world."
It could be a challenge for Cerberus to find a price that the Harris Teeter board would accept. Cerankosky notes many of Cerberus' previous grocery acquisitions have been at a fraction of the cost the firm would pay to buy land and build its own stores.
That's not the case with Harris Teeter, which is a strong and growing company, he adds.
"Harris Teeter is an exceptionally well-run food chain," Cerankosky says. "I think it would get premium valuation."
He did not speculate on Bain's potential interest.
And just because Harris Teeter is exploring its options doesn't mean it will be sold, Cerankosky points out. He sees three potential outcomes: Harris Teeter could be acquired. It could make a financial move such as completing a stock buyback. Or the talks could position the grocery chain to make acquisitions of its own.
"There's so many directions these things can take," Cerankosky says.
Harris Teeter operates 211 stores in eight states, including the Carolinas.