Whole Foods to Sell 13 Stores to Satisfy FTC

Friday, Mar 6, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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Whole Foods to Sell 13 Stores to Satisfy FTC

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SAN FRANCISCO - FEBRUARY 22: A customer shops for produce at a Whole Foods Market February 22, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Whole Foods Market Inc. announced that it plans to purchase Wild Oats Market Inc. for an estimated $565 million in hopes of competing with larger food chains that have started to introduce organic and prepared foods to their inventories. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Whole Foods Market says it will sell 13 stores to resolve the Federal Trade Commission's challenge against the grocer over its purchase of Wild Oats Markets.

Whole Foods said Friday it is putting 12 Wild Oats stores and one Whole Foods store up for sale. The company will also sell leases and assets for 19 Wild Oats stores that have already been closed.

Federal regulators have challenged Whole Foods' 2007 acquisition of Wild Oats over competitive issues.

Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey says it will be "business as usual" in the 13 operating stores.

Once it gets approval from the FTC, the company says it will take a non-cash charge of no more than $19 million for the sale of the stores.

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