BOULDER, Colo. — Wild Oats Markets here yesterday said it has placed its general counsel on administrative leave pending resolution of a contract dispute with the company. The organic retailer said Freya Brier, who is also senior vice president and corporate secretary, in involved in a disagreement over “whether a constructive termination has occurred in anticipation of a change in control.” The dispute relates to terms of a severance agreement dated Nov. 7, 2002. In February, Wild Oats reached an agreement to be acquired by rival Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, but the deal has been delayed as federal judge evaluates a claim by the Federal Trade Commission that the deal violates antitrust laws. A ruling is expected as soon as this week.
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