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Could Albertsons Finally Go Public With Alleged Whole Foods Bid?

Could Albertsons Finally Go Public With Alleged Whole Foods Bid?

Cerberus Capital Management has attempted to take Albertsons Companies Inc public for the last few years, and a Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) acquisition may now be the decided gateway.

Although no formal offers have been submitted, Albertsons has begun informal talks with bankers regarding a Whole Foods bid, according to a Monday report by the Financial Times.

Both Albertsons and Whole Foods declined to comment.

Management may use the deal to catalyze an IPO, or it may attempt to take Whole Foods private, rendering the deal one of the most significant “take-privates” since the crisis, the Times suggested.

Albertsons began seizing market control with a 2014 Safeway Inc buyout and, more recently, preliminary talks for a Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ: SFM) merger. The latter appears to be less certain considering the Whole Foods chatter, which prompted a 4-percent plunge in Sprouts stock.

Whole Foods’ recent concession of a 9-percent stake to activist investor Jana Partners increases the plausibility of a sale.

The target's stock spiked 3.7 percent on Monday's news and was continuing higher at the time of publication. Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) also peaked 0.6 percent considering the M&A implications for grocery retail.

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Image Credit: By Caldorwards4 at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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