Whole Foods Denies It
Is Being Sold to Publix
Whole Foods Market saw a bump in its stock price on Thursday, amid rumors that Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets Inc. has interest in acquiring the Austin-based supermarket chain.
The rumors circulated on financial news websites and were attributed to a report by the analytics firm Trade Alert.
“It’s a rumor, and we don’t comment on rumors,” Publix spokesman Brian West said.
Jeremy Jones, Florida spokesman for Whole Foods, told the Tampa Bay Times the speculation is “rumors with no merit.”
Whole Foods’ stock rose 4.7 percent to $40.19 in heavy volume on Thursday.
Publix has 1,077 stores in the Southeast, including 753 in Florida, where the store is most dominant. Based in Austin, TX, Whole Foods has 383 stores across the United States and several in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Compared to Publix, a full-service supermarket, Whole Foods focuses on specialty, organic and freshly prepared foods.