Canadian Chain Planet Organic Buys Way Into U.S.

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Canadian natural and organic foods retailer Planet Organic Health Corp. will make its first venture into the United States with its largest purchase so far: The company signed an agreement yesterday to buy Mrs. Green's Natural Market, Inc., and independently owned operator of 11 stores in the New York/Connecticut area.

Mrs. Green's owners and founders, Harold and June Hochberger, will be staying on to assist Planet Organic in its U.S. growth plans, the Canadian chain said.

"This merger marks a new era for Planet Organic," said Darren Krissie, Planet Organic's c.f.o. "We have made several retail acquisitions in our history, and Mrs. Green's will be our largest acquisition to date, which gives Planet Organic an excellent platform to continue with further U.S. expansion. We believe this merger will result in a company that is much stronger and better positioned for the future."

Added Ron Francisco, chairman and c.e.o.: "Planet Organic has had a large impact on the natural and organic foods movement throughout Canada. Planet Organic and Mrs. Green's have similar core values, and we believe this combination will create long-term value for our staff, customers, and shareholders."

Planet Organic operates eight natural food supermarkets throughout Canada under the Planet Organic Market banner, 50 natural health outlets under the Sangster's Health Centre banner, and seven natural health outlets under the Healthy's banner. The company also owns Trophic Canada, a manufacturer of natural supplements.
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