Amazon to Buy Whole Foods in Deal Worth Nearly $14 Billion

Posted on June 15, 2017

A surprise mega-deal was announced today. Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods in a massive deal worth $13.7 billion. Amazon has been making major moves into bricks-and-mortar retail but the acquisition of a grocery retailer was unexpected. The $42 a share for Whole Foods values it at a 27% premium over Thursday's closing price.

The deal was jointly announced by Amazon and Whole Foods. Whole Foods has over 460 stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK. They have 87,000 employees. Amazon only recently started launched physical stores. They recently unveiled a prototype for Amazon Go, which has no lines or checkout.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says in the announcement, "Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. 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."

John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO, says, "This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize 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."

Whole Foods and Amazon expected the transaction to close during the second half of 2017. It will be interesting to see how the Whole Foods stores will work together with Amazon's massive online marketplace. It will also make Amazon's battle with Walmart much more significant.

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