The Fresh Market Inc., which said in October that it was considering a sale of the company, rose 22 percent on a report that Kroger Co. wants to acquire the supermarket chain.
Kroger is in the second round of an auction for Fresh Market, according to Reuters, which cited unidentified people familiar with the situation. Other companies, including private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital, are part of the auction, the news service reported.
Shares of Fresh Market climbed to $22.68 on Thursday in the wake of the report, marking the biggest increase since November 2010. Before the rally, the stock had declined 21 percent this year.
Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the U.S., declined to comment to Bloomberg News about the report. Fresh Market also declined to comment.