(NYTIMES) — The Kroger Company, seeking to expand in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, said on Tuesday that it would acquire Harris Teeter Supermarkets for $2.4 billion.

Kroger agreed to pay $49.38 a share in cash, about 2 percent above Harris Teeter’s closing price on Monday and 34 percent above the price on Jan. 18, when media reports emerged that Harris Teeter was exploring strategic alternatives.

Harris Teeter has 212 stores in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Delaware, Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia. The company also operates distribution centers for grocery, frozen and perishable foods in North Carolina. Harris Teeter posted $4.5 billion in revenue for the 2012 fiscal year.

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