Burkle Getting Busy
By George Anderson
Billionaire Ron Burkle and his private equity group, Yucaipa Cos., have been very busy on the deal front. As reported in two separate articles on MarketWatch.com and the Los Angeles Times’ Web site, Mr. Burkle has taken a 9.2 percent stake in Wild Oats and made an offer to buy a minority share in Pathmark.
According to a 13D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as reported by MarketWatch, Mr. Burkle has been buying shares of Wild Oats on the open market since February 25.
The decision to purchase the Wild Oats stock was based on Mr. Burkle’s belief the natural foods retailer’s share price was undervalued.
“The company should have substantial opportunities for future growth due to the fact that recent developments in the supermarket and general retail sectors are likely to create attractive opportunities for the company to acquire new stores and expand into new geographic locations,” he wrote in the SEC filing.
On the Pathmark front, the LA Times reports Mr. Burkle and Yucaipa are close to a deal with the chain to become a minority shareholder.
Initial speculation was that C&S Wholesale Grocers would purchase the NJ-based chain outright but talks between the parties apparently have been suspended, at least temporarily.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your analysis of the two chains (Wild Oats and Pathmark) that have drawn the attention of Ron Burkle and Yucaipa?
George Anderson – Moderator
- Burkle has 9.2% stake in
Wild Oats – MarketWatch
- Yucaipa May Buy Stake in Chain
– Los Angeles Times (free reg. required)