A store of Whole Food Market chain. (Photo: Whole Foods Market/Amazon)
Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market for USD 13.7bn
Saturday, June 17, 2017, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
E-commerce giant Amazon has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which it will acquire Whole Foods Market in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately USD 13.7 billion, including the firm’s net debt.
“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.
For his part, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey pointed out this partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for the firm’s shareholders, while at the same time extending its mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to its customers.
Mackey explained that Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The takeover is slated to be completed in the second half of the year, with Whole Foods’ headquarters remaining in Austin, Texas.
Founded in 1978, Whole Foods Market is the first national “Certified Organic” grocer. It has over 460 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and in fiscal year 2016, it had sales of approximately USD 16 billion.
Whole Foods Market employs approximately 87,000 team members and has been ranked for 20 consecutive years as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by Fortune magazine.
“Amazon clearly wants to be in grocery, clearly believes a physical presence gives them an advantage,” Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. told Bloomberg. “I assume the physical presence gives them the ability to distribute other products more locally. So theoretically you could get 5-minute delivery."