Monday, August 14, 2006

Ronald Burkle Raises Stake in Wild Oats Markets (OATS) to 17.3%, May Buy Up to 20%

In an amended 13D filing on Wild Oats Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: OATS), billionaire Ronald Burkle, through his Yucaipa investment vehicle, disclosed a 17.3% stake (5.1 million shares) in the company. This is up from the 14.9% stake disclosed in a past filing.

Burkle noted in the filing that the Company amended the Stockholders Rights Plan back in March which will permit his investment firm to acquire Beneficial Ownership of up to 20% of the Company’s outstanding Common Stock without triggering certain adverse consequences under the Stockholders Rights Plan. Burkle said prior to the amendment they could only have acquired Beneficial Ownership of up to 15% of the Company’s outstanding Common Stock.

Burkle also continues to believe that the Company has substantial opportunities for future growth as developments in the supermarket and general retail sectors have continued to create attractive opportunities for the Company to acquire new stores and expand into new geographic locations.


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