Subject to regulatory approval, the combined company will have 142 stores and about 10,000 employees at the time the transaction closes, which is expected to be in mid-spring, with several more stores slated to open in 2012 and beyond.
The deal will make Sprouts one of the largest grocery retailers specializing in fresh and natural foods in the region, and will extend the company's footprint into Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Oklahoma. For now, Sprouts and Sunflower remain competitors, but if the deal is approved the companies will eventually unite under the Sprouts Farmers Market name.
According to Sprouts, the deal would improve access to suppliers and bring an influx of new products to stores. Also, more stores will equate to more employment opportunities, and more of a tax base for local economies.