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Sprouts merges with natural foods chain

Posted: May 31, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 31, 2012 1:55 a.m.

This photo shows a Sprouts Farmers Market in Valencia. The Sprouts chain recently merged with Sunflowers Farmers Market, an independent chain with 37 natural-food stores.

Sprouts Farmers Market announced Tuesday the merger of its natural-food grocery chain with Sunflower Farmers Market, an independent chain of 37 natural-food stores.

The merger further solidifies Sprouts’ standing as one of the larger grocers in the Western United States, a company official said.

Locally, Sprouts opened its Santa Clarita store in September 2010. In February 2011, it joined forces with Henry’s Farmers Market. The two companies had been originally founded by the Boney Family but had operated under separate owners for almost a decade.

The merger with Henry’s was financed by Apollo Management L.P., which is now the majority owner of Sprouts.

With the latest acquisition, Sprouts is projecting 2012 annual revenues approaching $2 billion. The combined company currently operates 144 stores; with six more scheduled to open this year. It employs approximately 11,000 people.

The Sunflower stores will be re-branded under the Sprouts name, and conversions will begin in July, occurring in phases through the end of the year.

The addition of the Sunflower stores expands Sprouts’ presence to Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and extends its presence in the states of California, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. 

“In joining forces, we will create a company that is not only bigger, but better — and continue to provide our signature shopping experience with a strong commitment to value and natural products,” said Shon Boney, CEO of Sprouts. “The customers and employees of both stores have a lot to look forward to as we launch this great adventure.”

The origins of Sprouts goes back to Henry Boney, a San Diego entrepreneur who opened his first fruit stand near La Mesa in 1943. The family opened a number of stores over the years.

The Boney family ran Henry’s until 1999, when it was sold. In 2002, the family opened the first Sprouts store in Chandler, Ariz., and after growing rapidly was reunited with the Henry’s chain.


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