Court Overturns Whole Foods' '07 Merger

But with many Wild Oats stores now gone, implications unclear
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 4:15 PM CDT
A man walks past a display of plants at a Whole Foods Market in Dallas.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A federal appeals court today overturned a ruling that allowed Whole Foods to buy out rival grocer Wild Oats, the Austin-American Statesman reports. The merger was completed last summer, and Whole Foods has since closed 12 Wild Oats stores, sold off 35 others, and is renovating the rest—making unclear how a reversal of the deal would be executed.

The court did not halt the merger process, nor say the $565 million buyout be undone; the Federal Trade Commission had tried to stop the takeover on antitrust grounds. Whole Foods said it was “disappointed with this decision” and that it will take its case to a full appellate panel.