Whole Foods Market Inc. has lined up financing to complete its $565 million purchase of rival organic and natural foods grocer Wild Oats Markets Inc., ending a six-month battle against federal regulators who tried to block the deal on antitrust grounds.
The company said it took out a five-year, $700 million loan to fund the deal, which also includes the assumption of $137 million in Wild Oats debt.
Whole Foods had vowed to complete the purchase of Wild Oats quickly after getting a green light from the courts. This week, it did just that.
Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats has about 110 stores and annual sales of about $1.2 billion, compared to Whole Foods’ $5.6 billion. Whole Foods plans to sell 35 Henry’s and Sun Harvest stores and evaluate the fate of each Wild Oats outlet.
Whole Foods may close many smaller Wild Oats locations according to industry analysts.