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AUSTIN, Texas -- Natural and organic foods retailers Whole Foods Market, Inc. here and Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets, Inc. have scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to decide whether to approve the application for an injunction to block the proposed merger between the two companies. Hearings will begin on July 31 and conclude on Aug. 1, 2007.
Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets have consented to a temporary restraining order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pending the hearing.
On Feb. 21, 2007, Whole Foods offered to buy Wild Oats at a purchase price of $18.50 per share in cash, plus assumed debt. The FTC on June 7 filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court seeking to block the proposed acquisition.
Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets plan to cooperate to challenge the FTC's opposition to the merger.
Whole Foods operates195 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Wild Oats operates 109 natural food stores in 23 states and British Columbia, Canada under the banners of Wild Oats Marketplace, Henry's Farmers Market, Sun Harvest, and Capers Community Markets.