US natural foods distributor United Natural Foods has announced that it has signed an agreement and plan of merger with Northeast Cooperatives, a natural foods distributor in the Northeast and Midwest of the US.

Northeast Cooperatives, headquartered in Brattleboro, VT, had approximately US$120m in sales for the latest twelve months.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Consummation of the transaction is contingent upon customary closing conditions, approval by the members of Northeast Cooperatives and approval from Northeast Cooperatives' lenders.

United Natural Foods expects the transaction to close in its fiscal 2003 second quarter. The Company also stated it expects the transaction to be neutral to slightly accretive by the end of the first full year following the acquisition, and accretive thereafter.