If this were a movie, I'd be the reporter running out of the press conference to a phone booth, and you, the reader, would be the city desk getting first news.
Whole Foods stock is trading upward today on rumors of a buyout.
Mind you, it's not a sexy buyout: Yucaipa Companies LLC announced this morning that it was buying a stake in the parent company of Whole Foods, which is called WFMI. You were thinking, as I was, that it would be Kroger or Microsoft or McDonald's or Southwest Airlines -- wouldn't that be awesome? -- buying the chain of natural foods supermarkets.
Instead, Yucapia is a California holding company with a history of acquiring supermarkets and grocery chains, mostly in the western US. It held a stake in Wild Oats, for instance, and Pathmark and acquired Ralph's.
Rating agency Standard & Poor's rates the stock of WFMI a "strong sell." Conventional wisdom is that grocery stores thrive in hard times, but the price of WFMI shares has ricocheted from a low around $7 to a high over $40 just in the past year. If the Whole Foods' fundamental structures and practices are sound, now might be the optimum time to buy, and Yucaipa has announced that it is considering that possibility.