The Kroger Co. and four other concerns have submitted preliminary bids for Albertson's Inc., unnamed sources close to the deal told The New York Times. Three of the other four bidders are said to be consortiums headed by investment firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Thomas H. Lee Partners and Yucaipa Companies LLC. A combined Kroger and Albertson's would rival Wal-Mart Stores' annual grocery sales, The Times reported.

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