United Natural Foods to Buy Grocery-Store Chain Supervalu in $2.9 Billion Deal

United Natural Foods Inc. is buying food distributor Supervalu Inc. for about $1.3 billion, the latest in the food-distribution sector as it faces low margins and increasing costs.

The acquisition, valued at $2.9 billion including debt, comes with risks for both companies.

The deal would boost United Natural’s wholesale capacity as it strains to keep up with a surge in business since Amazon.com Inc.’s acquisition last year Whole Foods, United Natural’s top customer. United Natural is the largest distributor of natural goods in the U.S. and Canada. and Supervalu is the biggest publicly traded food wholesaler.