NEW YORK, March 19 Grocery business Albertsons
Cos. held preliminary talks to merge with Sprouts Farmers Market
Inc., Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing people
familiar with the situation.
Bloomberg said that the early-stage discussions took place
in recent weeks and have involved a plan to take Sprouts
private. Doing so would add the natural and organic
foods-focused business to the Albertsons suite of supermarket
brands, which includes Safeway, Vons and Shaw's.
Albertsons is backed by private equity firm Cerberus Capital
Management. Representatives for Albertsons and Sprouts did not
immediately respond to requests for comment, while a spokeswoman
for Cerberus declined to comment.
(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Mary Milliken)