Bloomberg reports that Albertsons "has held preliminary talks" with Sprouts Farmers Market about a possible acquisition of the value-oriented organic supermarket chain.

Neither company has commented on the report, which is based on unnamed sources.

Phoenix-based Sprouts has a market value of $3 billion. Albertsons is backed by Cerberus Capital Management, which is described as having $30 billion in private equity holdings, distressed debt, other credit assets and real estate.

KC's View: This is a potentially big deal, though its efficacy will depend on Albertsons' ability to learn from Sprouts, offer some economies of scale, and not screw up what to this point has been a pretty competitive business model.

Not only would Spouts give Albertsons the wherewithal to compete more effectively in the organic-healthy space with a lot of mainstream grocers looking to do a better job there, but it also could give Sprouts the resources to give Whole Foods fits. Everything has to work right for this to play out, but it strikes me as a distinct possibility.