The issue of Whole Foods (WFMI) purchase of Wild Oats (OATS) moved over a huge hurdle today. The FTC has objected to the merger on the basis that the combination would allow the companies to raise prices. A federal judge blocked the agency’s effort to get an injunction against putting the firms together.
According to The Wall Street Journal: John Mackey, chairman and chief executive of Whole Foods, hailed the decision in a statement, saying a combination of the grocery chains "will create long-term value for customers, vendors and shareholders."
The decision may help embattled Whole Foods CEO Mackey keep his job.
Whole Foods shares hit a 52-week high nine months ago. After reaching $66.25 in October, the stock has been driven down to $41 on mediocre earnings and problems with the merger. After hours, the stock moved up 8%.
Douglas A. McIntyre