Eden Prairie-based Supervalu, which owns companies including Cub Foods, is being bought in a $2.9 billion deal announced Wednesday.
The buyer is Rhode Island-based United Natural Foods, an organic and natural foods distributor, which will pay $32.50 per Supervalu share in cash and assume Supervalu's outstanding debt.
The newly-combined company will be led by UNFI CEO Steven Spinner.
And in a conference call, UNFI said that over time it would be selling Supervalu's retail businesses, which includes Cub Foods and Shop 'N Save.
These assets will be sold "in a thoughtful and economic manner," it added in the press release.
Supervalu, one of Minnesota's Fortune 500 companies, is the 5th largest food retailing company in the U.S. and employs 23,000 workers.
It counts more than 75 Cub Foods stores, most of them in Minnesota, among the 2,000-plus locations it owns across the U.S.
UNFI said the purchase will accelerate its growth strategy by bringing its organic foods to a wider audience at a time when consumers are demanding healthier, natural food options.
UNFI is the primary supplier for Whole Foods, the upmarket grocery chain owned by Amazon.