Whole Foods Shareholder Could Be Exploring Sale Among Big Changes for the Chain

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Tue. November 8th, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

AUSTIN, TX - Could Whole Foods be exploring a sale? Reports have surfaced of the possibility, which is being pushed by one of the chain’s largest shareholders. The proposal comes among plans to make “sweeping changes” to Whole Foods' strategy, Bloomberg reported.

Brooke Buchanan, Global Vice President of Communications, Whole Foods

“Whole Foods Market values the strong and open relationships we have with our shareholders,” Brooke Buchanan, Vice President of Communications & Government Affairs for Whole Foods, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “As discussed on Wednesday’s earnings call, we are focused on pursuing the right strategies to position the company to produce strong results and returns for our shareholders over the long term.”

According to the report, the shareholder in question has met with potential activist investors to address the restructuring. Further changes on the table besides selling, people familiar with the matter told the news source, include possibly replacing management.

As we previously reported, last week's earnings call also revealed a changeup in leadership, removing the Co-CEO structure that has governed the retailer thus far. This included Walter Robb stepping down from his position.

The shareholder was not named in the report, only that it is in Whole Foods’ top ten, and several investors that wished to remain anonymous confirmed to the news source that they were both aware of the suggestion and “are studying Whole Foods carefully.”

Currently, Whole Foods has a market value of about $8.9 billion. AndNowUKnow will continue to report on this story as further details develop.

Whole Foods Market