Farewell, Wild Oats!
Posted on Feb 21, 2007
Natural supermarket giant Whole Foods announced Wednesday it would gobble up smaller rival chain Wild Oats. The marketplace for natural and organic food has grown increasingly competitive, a reality that has plagued Whole Foods in recent months.
New York Times:
Stung by competition and investor expectations, Whole Foods Markets, the natural-foods grocer, was expected to announce another quarter of rather mundane earnings Wednesday, at least by the standards of a company that has experienced more than a decade of breakneck growth.
But the chairman and chief executive of Whole Foods, John P. Mackey, has always done things a bit differently, and Wednesday, he surprised investors by announcing a proposed merger with Wild Oats Markets, a similar though much smaller chain.
Whole Foods will pay $565 million or $18.50 a share for Wild Oats, an 18 percent premium over the average share price the last month. The company will also assume $106 million of debt.