It was reported last week that Albertsons is considering a deal to acquire Sprouts Farmers Markets, and an industry source told me that he thought the likelihood of such a deal was 50-50.
Sprouts, based in Phoenix, is the largest farmers' market-style food retailer in the country. It operates more than 250 stores in 15 states, not including Pennsylvania, where a Philadelphia store is planned. There are no stores currently in New Jersey either, and it has been rumored that the company is looking for a site in South Jersey.
According to reports, Sprouts has plans to open 32 stores this year, following 36 new stores last year and 27 in 2015.
Jefferies Anlyst Chris Mandeville said last week that "the logic of a deal makes sense in our view," but added that it would be very expensive.
Albertsons, which is owned by Cerberus Capital, acquired Safeway and Supervalu in recent years. Reports said that the company was in talks to acquire Price Chopper late last year, but the deal never happened.