$13.7bn deal will see e-commerce giant buy Texan natural/organic grocery chain
Amazon has announced that it is to acquire leading US natural and organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market. The e-commerce giant will buy Whole Foods Market in an all-cash transaction valued at US$13.7bn, or $42 per share.
Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand with John Mackey remaining as CEO, headquartered in the company's historic home of Austin, Texas. The retailer is additionally reassuring partner companies and customers that it will continue to source from the same vendors and partners globally.
Whole Foods Market, although best known for food produce, also sells a number of natural and organic beauty brands, including Weleda, Dr. Hauschka, Mineral Fusion and Thayers.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO, of the deal. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
Whole Foods’ co-founder Mackey added: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximise value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”
Founded in 1978 and with more than 460 stores across the US, Canada and the UK, Whole Foods Market announced earlier this year that it was to close nine US stores after six straight quarters of declining sales.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2017.