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Warren Buffett buys $500M stake in grocery chain Kroger

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has acquired a 2.3% stake in Cincinnati-based Kroger, government disclosures say.

Word of the legendary investor’s $500 million purchase in the nation’s second-largest grocer sent the company’s stock soaring in after-market trading last Friday.

With a net worth of more than $80 billion, Buffett is listed as the world’s third-wealthiest man behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, according to Forbes. Buffett’s conservative buy-and-hold investing style is credited for popularizing value investing.

Buffett’s investing style, unlike activist hedge funds that have targeted Cincinnati peers such as Procter & Gamble and Macy’s, will likely be interpreted as a vote of confidence in Kroger management’s strategy and stock outlook.

Berkshire Hathaway’s 18.9 million shares are enough to make it one of Kroger’s 10-largest investors.

Kroger’s stock has taken a hit in recent years after Amazon jumped into the grocery business when it acquired Whole Foods in mid-2017. Since then, the downtown-based retailer has ramped up curbside pickup and home delivery options to woo customers demanding more convenience.

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For the latest on Kroger, P&G, Fifth Third Bank and Cincinnati business news, follow @alexcoolidge on Twitter.

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