Sprouts/Sunflower

The Situation

In February 2012, Apollo Global Management (Apollo), owner of the Sprouts chain of natural food markets, announced its acquisition of the Sunflower chain of natural food markets.

NERA's Role

A NERA team led by Dr. Sumanth Addanki was retained by counsel for Apollo/Sprouts to analyze the economic issues raised by the transaction. NERA engaged with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff on these issues and performed an econometric study of whether entry by a Sprouts (Sunflower) store in the trading area of a Sunflower (Sprouts) store depressed margins at the incumbent store(s). NERA was able to demonstrate that such entry (or, analogously, exit) did not have any economically or statistically meaningful effect on margins.

The Result

The FTC cleared the merger in May 2012 without issuing a Second Request.