Whole Foods Extends Tender for Wild Oats to Aug. 15

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Whole Foods Extends Tender for Wild Oats to Aug. 15

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. said on Friday it extended the expiration date for its tender offer to purchase Wild Oats Markets, Inc. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, marking the fifth time it has extended the offer as the companies wait to see if regulatory authorities will give their deal the green light.

As of Aug. 9, a total of 16.64 million common shares of Wild Oats were tendered and not withdrawn, representing about 55.6 percent of the company's 29.93 million outstanding shares as of July 27, Whole Foods said.

In February, Whole Foods agreed to buy Wild Oats for $18.50 per share in cash, or about $565 million. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a suit in June to block the proposed acquisition on antitrust grounds, and sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. The deal has been embroiled in controversy that includes postings about the two companies on online financial bulletin boards by Whole Foods c.e.o. John Mackey, under a fake name.

Whole Foods and Wild Oats consented to a temporary restraining order pending a hearing on the preliminary injunction, which concluded Aug. 1.

The two former rivals have said they anticipate receiving a ruling from the federal district court in mid-August.