Could Kroger Buy Whole Foods?
Reports emerged late last week that Kroger is mulling a takeover of Whole Foods Market. Published reports said Kroger was considering a $40 per share bid for Whole Foods — an offer that would equal a $13 billion takeover. Officials from Kroger, however, declined to discuss "rumors and speculation" regarding a potential deal. Whole Foods also declined to comment. If a transaction took place, it would be the most expensive in the U.S. grocery industry since beleaguered Albertsons was bought for $16.1 billion a decade ago and later split apart. Today, Kroger is the world's third-largest retailer.
Total Retail's Take: Right now, the merger is speculation, but a Kroger-Whole Foods deal could be intriguing. Whole Foods has been struggling with sales growth since 2013, so the influx of cash would be a boon for the chain. Also, if Kroger did buy Whole Foods, the grocery store operator could gain a foothold in markets where it has no stores. Whole Foods is also a leader in prepared foods, and this would be an asset for Kroger. However, the jury is out on if this deal will indeed go through. We will be watching.