BUSINESS surges on report of Kroger eyeing deal

Nick Turner
Bloomberg News Inc. gained as much as 5.3 percent in early trading on speculation that supermarket giant Kroger Co. might acquire the e-commerce company.

The New York Post reported on Friday that the grocery chain may be eyeing a deal with Overstock, citing unidentified sources. Overstock Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne said in December that selling the e-commerce business to a brick-and-mortar retailer was a possibility. He aims to refocus on the burgeoning field of blockchain technology.

A Kroger-Overstock deal would extend a run of traditional retailers teaming up with online merchants. Inc. acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year, and Kroger itself is seen as a potential buyer for, an e-commerce version of Costco.

The Post’s report sent Overstock as high as $75 in premarket trading. The stock was already up 12 percent this year through Thursday’s close.

Kroger, meanwhile, saw its shares battered last year by concerns it would lose ground to Amazon in groceries. They fell 20 percent in 2017, following an 18 percent decline the previous year.