Albertsons is reportedly considering a takeover of Whole Foods

Bob Bryan


Grocery chain Albertsons is exploring buying Whole Foods, according to the Financial Times' James Fontanella-Khan.

The FT, citing sources close to the matter, said that the private equity funds that own Albertsons, including Cerberus Capital Management, have held talks with bankers regarding a takeover of Whole Foods.

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Albertsons merged with rival grocery chain Safeway in 2014 and explored an initial public offering in 2015 before deciding against it.

In March, reports from Bloomberg said that Albertsons was looking into a acquisition of organic grocer Sprouts Farmers Market, but the FT said those talks have since stalled.

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While Foods has been struggling with sales woes for some time and announced in February that it was shuttering nine stores during the first part of 2017.

Two weeks ago, activist hedge fund Jana Partners announced it had taken a 9% stake in Whole Foods and was pushing for changes at the high-end grocer, including a possible sale.

In response to the news, shares of Whole Foods spiked roughly 4% as of 1:46 p.m. ET.

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SEE ALSO: Whole Foods is closing stores — see if yours is on the list