United Natural Foods, based in Rhode Island, is purchasing Supervalu in an effort to create a very diverse wholesaler.

United Natural says they are acquiring Supervalu for $32.50 per share in cash, or a premium of 67 percent, for each share Including the assumption of debt, the deal is valued at nearly $3 billion.

Supervalu's retail operations will eventually be divested. Those operations operate under  under names including Cub Foods and Hornbacher's.

Supervalu reported separately that quarterly sales rose 35 percent, with wholesale sales up 49 percent. The company swung to a first-quarter loss of $21 million, or 70 cents per share.

In premarket trading, Supervalu shares soared 63 percent to $31.85. The stock had been down 22 percent in the past year.

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