Henry's, Sprouts to merge under one banner

SAN DIEGO and PHEONIX — Two natural food retailers are merging together.

Henry's Farmers Market and Sprouts Farmers Market, which were both founded by the Boney family, will combine forces under the majority ownership and sponsorship of Apollo Management, a private equity firm. The stores will operate under the Sprouts Farmers Market name.

The newly merged operation will include 98 stores, more than 7,000 employees and annual revenues that exceed $1 billion at the time of the transaction closing, which is expected to be in the second quarter 2011.

Henry's Farmers Market, based in San Diego, operates 43 total store locations, which includes 34 stores in California and nine stores in Texas that operate under the Sun Harvest banner. Henry's was one of the retailers that was featured in last year's Drug Store News Marketplace Daily as one of the "5 Must-See Stores in San Diego."

Sprouts Farmers Market is based in Phoenix and operates 55 stores across four states.

Stan Boney, chairman of the board at Sprouts, said, "The combination of Sprouts and Henry's is an exciting chapter in our family's lives, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission of helping America eat healthier, live longer and spend less. Apollo is one of the most experienced and successful private equity firms in the nation, and we are excited about their support for our business model and look forward to working together with Andy and his team."