Shares of Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM - Get Report) were declining by 3.65% to $21.91 on Monday afternoon following a Financial Times report suggesting U.S. supermarket operator Albertsons is exploring a takeover of grocery giant Whole Foods (WFM) . Last month it was reported that organic grocer Sprouts was Albertsons takeover target.

The two companies were said to have held preliminary talks about a deal, however today's Financial Times report said Albertsons has been in preliminary talks with bankers about making an offer for Whole Foods.

Albertsons is backed by U.S. private equity group Cerberus Capital Management. About three years ago Albertson acquired Safeway (SWY) for $9 billion and turned it into third largest supermarket chain in terms of revenue.

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