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Sprouts Farmers Market and Sunflowers Farmers to merge

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sprouts Farmers Market, a Phoenix-based natural-foods supermarket chain, has reached an agreement to merge with competitor, Sunflower Farmers Market, based in Boulder, Col. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The combined company will operate 139 stores in eight states under the Sprouts banner, with annual sales of approximately $2 billion. It will open about 12 new stores this year.

“Our operations are very similar," said Sprouts president Doug Sanders, who will lead the combined supermarket company.

Currently, Sunflower operates 35 stores in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

"This is a combination that makes great sense given the rapid growth in demand for natural and organic products and the complementary nature of the geography of the two companies," said Andrew S. Jhawar, a senior partner at Apollo Global Management LLC, which acquired a majority stake in Sprouts in 2011.

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Long-time cable exec finds new connection with B&N

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Former Cablevision executive, Michael Huseby will join Barnes & Noble as CFO, effective March 13. He will report to CEO William Lynch.

Huseby will lead the company’s finance organization, aligning the company’s finance and business strategies, optimizing the company’s capital structure and helping to scale the rapidly growing digital business. He will oversee the functions of planning and analysis, corporate development, accounting, treasury, tax, investor relations and internal audit.

“Mike will join the company’s executive leadership team and play a key role in determining and delivering on the strategy of the business going forward,” said Lynch. “Mike is a seasoned public company CFO and executive, has consistently built value at the companies he’s served, and recognizes the big opportunities in our strong retail and rapid growth digital businesses.”

Huseby served as EVP and CFO for Cablevision Systems Corp. from 2004 to 2011. During his tenure, he helped lead the successful spin offs of two significant Cablevision subsidiary businesses. Prior to joining Cablevision, he served as EVP and CFO of Charter Communications, Inc., the fourth largest cable operator in the U.S.

From 1999 to 2002, he served as EVP, finance and administration, of AT&T Broadband, a provider of cable television services. Among his responsibilities, he oversaw the roll out of newly-developed and evolving advanced digital video, data and voice products. He also led the team that completed the merger of AT&T Broadband with Comcast Corp. in 2002. In addition, Huseby spent 20 years at Arthur Andersen as a Global Equity Partner.

Huseby holds a degree in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Former Home Depot CEO leaves post at firearms maker

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Robert Nardelli, former Home Depot and Chrysler CEO, said Friday he is stepping down from his current post as CEO of firearms maker Freedom Group.

Nardelli held the Freedom Group post for just two months before deciding to depart.

He said in a statement Friday that it was a good time for him to focus on his investment and consulting company, XLR-8 LLC.

Freedom Group said it expects to name a permanent successor for Nardelli soon.

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