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Albertsons and Sprouts discuss merger

Albertsons Cos. and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. have held preliminary merger talks, according to Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter. According to the report, the discussions are at an early stage and there’s no certainty a deal will transpire.

This morning Sprouts shares rose $0.77 to $23.27 — valuing the company at more than $3 billion, according to the report — however, the price dropped down to $21.22 shortly after and has hovered slightly below the day’s opening price of $22.50.

Sprouts employs more than 22,000 team members and operates more than 230 stores in 13 states from coast to coast. The Phoenix, AZ-based company caters to consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness.

Albertsons is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both a strong local presence and national scale. The company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 19 banners.