January 31, 2019 / 12:52 AM / 3 months ago

United Natural Foods sues Goldman Sachs, Bank of America over acquisition advice

NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Grocery distributing company United Natural Foods Inc filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch claiming the investment banks put their financial interests ahead of the company's when they advised it on a multi-billion acquisition last year.

United Natural Foods announced plans to acquire distributor Supervalu in July 2018 in a deal valued at $2.9 billion, according to a joint statement on United's website.

United claims in the lawsuit, which was filed in New York state court, that Goldman Sachs committed breach of contract and fraud, and that the firm improperly extracted around $200 million for the advisory and financing services it gave United.

Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Nicole Sharp wrote in an emailed statement that the bank believes the claims have no merit, and the bank plans to "vigorously defend ourselves against these accusations."

Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin declined to comment. (Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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