United Natural Foods to acquire SuperValu for $2.9 billion in cash

United Natural Foods Inc. UNFI, -3.04% (UNFI) said Thursday that it will acquire SuperValu Inc. svu for $32.50 per share in cash, or about $2.9 billion, including debt and liabilities. The deal is expected to close in the fourth-quarter of calendar 2018. UNFI, focused on healthy food options, distributes more than 110,000 products to more than 43,000 customer locations, including natural product stores and conventional supermarkets. The acquisition expands UNFI’s product range and helps the company reach a broader range of customers, said Steve Spinner, UNFI’s chief executive, in a statement. Spinner will lead the combined company and Sean Griffin, UNFI’s chief operating officer, will head up the SuperValu integration effort. SuperValu shares soared 62.7% in Thursday premarket trading while UNFI’s shares dropped 7.4% for the period. SuperValu shares are down 10% for the year to date, UNFI’s shares are down 16.4% for the period, and the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.46% has gained 6.5% for 2018 to date.