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United Natural Foods to acquire SuperValu Inc for $2.9bn in cash

The deal comes as the latest in a string of consolidations in the grocery industry.

United Natural Foods (UNFI) is to buy grocery retailer SuperValu Inc. in a deal worth approximately $2.9bn.

The deal comes as the latest in a string of consolidations in the grocery industry.

Through the purchase, UNFI, an organic and natural foods distributor, will pay $32,50 per SuperValu share in cash and will assume the firm’s outstanding debt.

The firm is also buying SuperValu’s retail business which operates under brands such as Cub Foods and Shoppers.

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"This transaction accelerates UNFI's "Build out the Store" growth strategy by immediately enhancing our product range, equipping us to bring an attractive, comprehensive product portfolio to an expanded universe of customers," said Steve Spinner, UNFI's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.

"Combining our leading position in natural and organic foods with SuperValu’s presence in fast-turning products makes us the partner of choice for a broader range of customers.”

UNFI said that the purchase will greatly expand its consumer base at a time when consumers are searching for healthier and natural food products.

"The combination of UNFI and SuperValu provides a substantial premium and delivers certainty of value to our stockholders, meaningful benefits to our customers, expanded opportunities for our employees, and the ability for us and our vendors to efficiently serve a varied customer base," said Mark Gross, Supervalu’s Chief Executive Officer.

"I am confident that, together, SuperValu and UNFI will be well positioned to succeed – and to help our customers succeed – in today's grocery landscape."

SuperValu is the fifth largest food retail company in the US, employing approximately 23,000 workers.

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