U.S. Markets closed

Sprouts acquires Sunflower Farmers Market

PHOENIX (AP) -- Sprouts Farmers Market is acquiring Sunflower Farmers Market, bringing together two independent natural food store chains, the companies said Friday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sprouts is owned primarily by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC and operated by the Boney family, which founded the grocer in 1943 in San Diego. It runs 104 stores under the Sprouts and Henry's banners. Sunflower is owned by the cofounders, its management and KMCP Advisors.

The combined company will be majority-owned and controlled by Apollo.

After the completion of the deal, the combined company will operate 139 stores under the Sprouts Farmers Market name and have about 10,000 employees. It is expected to generate revenue of nearly $2 billion in 2012.

Sprouts said the addition of Sunflower's 35 stores will give it a presence in eight states — California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The Sunflower stores will be renamed as Sprouts by the end of the year.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.