China is set to sell the world’s largest grocery store chain, Whole Foods Market, to a major US food conglomerate.
The deal, announced Thursday by the United States-China Trade Commission, would add a $10.3 billion dollar value to the company’s annual sales.
It is one of several mega-deals in recent months that have been linked to the rise of the online retailing sector.
It is also likely to add to pressure on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration, which has struggled to rein in the countrys economy as a result of a wave of food safety and hygiene scandals.
The agreement between the two countries follows a $12.8 billion US purchase of China’s largest food and beverages retailer, Yum Brands, in 2016.
The two sides have yet to sign the deal.
But the move comes amid a series of corporate mergers and acquisitions that have created a flood of competition in the food industry.
The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Whole Foods to begin testing its products in the United Nations’ most stringent safety standards, the American public health body has announced.
The FDA also has ordered a probe into the safety of Whole Foods products after its website received a “notice of suspected fraudulent conduct.”
The FDA said the Food Safety and Inspection Service has been notified of the probe and the investigation is ongoing.