A Hearty Reception for Whole Foods-Wild Oats Deal

News that Whole Foods will acquire its smaller rival lifted the shares of both companies Thursday

Whole Foods Market (WFMI) prides itself on its vast array of organic offerings, but it has often turned to a tried-and-true additive to boost its own growth: acquisitions. On Feb. 22, the company announced it is buying Wild Oats Markets (OATS) for around $700 million including debt, as the natural food groceries fight to defend their turf in an increasingly competitive industry. After the news investors enthusiastically bid up both company's shares on Feb. 22.

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