Severance Dispute Lands Wild Oats General Counsel on Administrative Leave

BOULDER, Colo. -- Natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats Markets Inc. has placed its general counsel Freya Brier on administrative leave, pending the resolution of a dispute under her severance agreement, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing stated: "On August 10, 2007, the company's s.v.p., general counsel, and corporate secretary, Freya Brier, was placed on administrative leave pending resolution of a dispute under her severance agreement, dated November 7, 2002, involving whether a constructive termination has occurred in anticipation of a change in control."

Wild Oats is currently embroiled in a rocky attempt to merge with rival Whole Foods. The deal faces opposition from Federal Trade Commission, which has sued to block the sale of Wild Oats to Whole Foods on antitrust grounds. The players faced off at a hearing earlier this month on whether to grant a preliminary injunction to kill the merger.
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