TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Aldi plans to acquire approximately 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations across the southeastern U.S., the German-owned supermarket chain announced Wednesday.

The decision comes as Aldi seeks to expand its presence in the south, and as part of a larger divestiture from Winn-Dixie’s parent company Southeastern Grocers, according to a news release.

Southeastern Grocers also owns 28 stores and four pharmacies under the Hispanic grocery store brand Fresco y Más. The company said the stores will continue operating as usual under its new owner, Fresco Retail Group, LLC.

Aldi has invested $2.5 billion in its southeastern expansion since the mid-90s, according to the grocer. The chain opened a regional headquarters and distribution center outside of Mobile, Alabama earlier this year.

“Like Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the southeast and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” Aldi CEO Jason Hart said. “The time was right to build on our growth momentum and help residents in the Southeast save on their grocery bills.”

The company is currently evaluating which Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations will convert to Aldi stores, Hart said. Southeastern Grocers operates locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

It is not known how many employees will be affected by the acquisition.

“Southeastern Grocers remains committed to conducting business as usual,” a company spokesperson wrote in a release. “The grocer’s dedication to associates, customers and communities remains unwavering as it continues to provide the same high level of service, quality and value that neighbors have come to expect.”

The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024.