Austin, TX— Shares in Whole Foods Market Inc. are on the rise after reports byFinancial Timesthat Albertson Cos. is exploring purchasing Whole Foods Market. Stocks climbed to $37.33, a 4.5 percent increase, since speculation about the possible purchase began.

Business Insider, a source of Financial Times, stated that Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity fund that owns Albertsons, “have held talks with bankers regarding a takeover of Whole Foods.”

Activist investor Jana Partners, who had taken a 9 percent stake in Whole Foods, was supportive of the idea that sale be considered by the grocery chain based in Austin, Texas.

Furthering the validity of a Whole Foods Market, Inc. takeover by Albertsons is the fact that Albertsons was looking to join Sprouts Farmers Market as well as buy cooperative Central Grocers and the Strack & Van Til Chain. Revenue at Whole Foods Markets, Inc. has been in a decline and select stores have been closed in order to save costs to the company.

Neither party involved in the possible transaction have commented on the purchase.