Sprouts, Henry's to merge

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PHOENIX - Sprouts Farmers Market and Henry's Farmers Market announced they are combining operations under the majority ownership and sponsorship of Apollo Management, L.P.

The stores will operate under the Sprout's name.

The two companies were originally founded by the Boney Family, but have operated under separate owners for almost a decade.

The combined company will be one of the largest in the farmers market specialty segment of the food industry with revenues in excess of $1 billion.

The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

The Boney family will operate the combined company with 98 stores and more than 7,000 employees at the time of the merger. There are plans to open 10 additional new stores during 2011.