Amazon spending billions to buy Whole Foods Market
Major U.S.-based retailer Whole Foods Market has found a buyer in e-commerce heavyweight Amazon.com, which intends to buy the grocer for USD 13.7 billion (EUR 12.2 billion) in its largest business transaction to date.
The acquisition further signifies Amazon’s focus on broadening its grocery offerings and food business reach. Specifics of the deal allow for John Mackey, Whole Foods’ Co-founder and CEO, to continue on at the helm of the Austin, Texas U.S.A.-headquartered retail chain. Amazon will pay USD 42.00 (EUR 37.50) per share, a 27 percent premium over Whole Foods Market’s closing stock price on Thursday, 15 June.
“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 Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, in a statement acquired by The Washington Post. “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.”
“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,” added Mackey.
The Whole Foods Market brand will remain intact throughout the grocer’s 460 brick-and-mortar stores across the United States, in Canada and the United Kingdom, and its headquarters will remain in Texas, according to Amazon.
Following the acquisition announcement, shares for the Seattle, Washington U.S.A.-based Amazon were up 3 percent, while shares for other retailers were sent in a tailspin; Kroger shares dropped nearly 16 percent, Supervalue slipped 11.5 percent, and Costco fell 6.5 percent.