wnetmacman wrote:pseudo3d wrote:wnetmacman wrote:I can't imagine, with all the problems with Haggen, that the FTC will even begin to entertain this. Yes, they operate two different types of stores. Yes, they attract a different crowd. But I can see so many issues and overlaps that it would never, ever work.
Most of the stores where Whole Foods operates (in the big cities) are where either Albertsons operates stores or are in far-flung locations, making distribution difficult. The only way that it would work is if Albertsons Cos. teamed up with activist investors to buy Whole Foods Market Inc., taking its place in the stock market. Albertsons would then spin off the majority of the company to said activist investors as Whole Foods Market LLC, containing the majority of the company (including all trademarks and most stores). Albertsons then takes control of the "loser stores" as well as a few choice operations that would benefit them without causing FTC strife, licensing the Whole Foods format back from WFM LLC as it fully divests its operations in WFM. That way, Albertsons can get a number of good locations (especially ones that used to be theirs), helps Whole Foods stay alive without some sort of major catastrophe, and they get their IPO.
If Albertsons were to purchase Whole Foods, it would have to be to keep the chain intact, but separate from their current operations. Purchasing to sell off wouldn't be allowed, because it would be pointless.
Sure it is, called a reverse merger, it's what JTS Corporation and Atari did in the late 1990s to take JTS public, with them selling off the Atari assets to Hasbro soon after. I know several former ABS/SWY locations that WFM later took over, though they usually downscaled them. Still, recapturing some of them (like the Woodway/Voss store in Houston) would be beneficial to ABS with still keeping other WFM stores in the area (like their other newish store down Westheimer).