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SuperValu shares soar 65% after United Natural Foods agrees to acquire grocery chain

SuperValu Inc. shares soared 65% Thursday, after United Natural Foods Inc. said it has agreed to acquire the food distributor and grocery chain in a deal valued at about $2.9 billion, including debt.

United Natural Foods UNFI, -15.40% , which specializes in healthier food options, distributes more than 110,000 products to more than 43,000 customer locations, including natural-product stores and conventional supermarkets. The company is paying $32.50 per SuperValu share SVU, +64.34% , equal to a 67% premium over the stock’s closing price Wednesday.

The deal will expand its range and help the company reach a broader spectrum of customers, said Steve Spinner, UNFI’s chief executive, in a statement.

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