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Whole Foods to sell 35 stores in Oats deal

June 21, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Whole Foods Market Inc., the largest U.S. natural-foods grocer, agreed to sell 35 of Wild Oats Markets Inc.'s stores to Apollo Management.

The sale of the Henry's Farmers Market and Sun Harvest stores will occur only if Whole Foods' proposed acquisition of Wild Oats, which U.S. regulators are trying to block, goes through. Whole Foods, based in Austin, Texas, didn't disclose the terms of the Apollo transaction in a statement today.

The Sun Harvest and Henry's stores, located in California and Texas, don't fit into Whole Foods' long-term strategy, the company said. It agreed in February to buy Wild Oats for $565 million.

The stores and a California distribution center would be part of Apollo's Smart & Final Inc. grocery unit, which it bought last month for $812.9 million.

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