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Whole Foods extends offer for Wild Oats


AUSTIN, Texas After all the drama surrounding Whole Foods Market ceo John Mackey's comments on an online financial forum, the company is moving forward with its planned acquisition of Wild Oats Markets, announcing today that it had extended the expiration date for its tender offer to purchase outstanding shares of the company to Aug. 10.

On the Whole Foods Web site, Mackey confirmed that he did submit a number of postings to the Yahoo! financial bulliten boards regarding Whole Foods and Wild Oats under the name "rahodeb." He added that the comments he made did not always reflect his personal views and that he was merely playing "devil's advocate," in order to stir up discussion on the topic.

Mackey later apologized for his actions, calling it an "error in judgment," and asked for forgiveness from the company's shareholders.

Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Whole Foods are investigating Mackey's comments.

As of the close of business on July 19, a total of 17,049,990 shares of common stock of Wild Oats, which represent approximately 57.1% of the 29,882,910 shares that were outstanding as of April 27, (according to the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed by Wild Oats) have been tendered and not withdrawn pursuant to the tender offer.

On Feb. 21, Whole Foods Market entered into a merger agreement with Wild Oats, pursuant to which Whole Foods Market, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has commenced a tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Wild Oats at a purchase price of $18.50 per share in cash. On June 7, the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit in the federal district court to block the proposed acquisition on antitrust grounds and seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction pending a trial on the merits. Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats consented to a temporary restraining order pending a hearing on the preliminary injunction, which has been scheduled to commence on July 31 and to conclude on Aug. 1.

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