Supermarket News(SN) reported that Topco Associates LLC, a retailer-owned private-label cooperative in Skokie, Ill., is seeking to buy the Wild Oats brand name and other intellectual property fromWhole Foods Market, according to a filing with theFederal Trade Commission.

SN said Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, was ordered to sell the Wild Oats brand along with 32 stores after an FTC antitrust battle in the wake of its 2007 merger with Wild Oats Markets. Terms of the sale of the Wild Oats brand - which includes its extensive private label - were not disclosed in the FTC filing, which seeks public comment on the proposed divestitures during the next 30 days.

In other news Topco announced on March 12 that it hiredGlenn Backusas senior vice president of innovation. Officials said Backus is responsible for all facets of the innovation in product, packaging and branding.

Backus has held other retail executive posts with H.E. Butt Grocery Company, Sunflower Markets (a SUPERVALU subsidiary) and Trader Joes.