Oct. 03--Harris Teeter shareholders voted this morning to approve a proposed merger with grocery giant Kroger Co., according to online news reports.
At a special meeting, 83 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the deal, the Charlotte Observer reported on its website. It was one step of several needed to allow Kroger's proposed $2.5 billion purchase of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. to go forward.
Shareholders also approved "golden parachute" compensation packages for top Harris Teeter executives if the deal goes through, according to the Observer's report. Those include a $262,500 bonus and about $16 million in cash, stock and other benefits for Harris Teeter's CEO, Thomas Dickson, the newspaper's online story said.
Federal regulators still must approve the deal, which was announced in July. Two lawsuits filed by shareholders to block the sale also are pending.
Kroger, based in Cincinnati, is the nation's largest grocer, with seven supermarkets in Hampton Roads and a Kroger Marketplace in Virginia Beach. Harris Teeter, based in Matthews, N.C., has 15 stores in Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.