Amazon and Whole Foods Market, Inc. announced on Friday that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $13.7 billion, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt.
This represents a further investment in physical outlets for the company which was built on an e-commerce platform – a bet which proved to be massively successful. Additionally, this deal is not without its merits, since more people are turning increasingly to organic products in a shift to a healthier lifestyle.
If Amazon harnesses similar aggressive pricing tactics as the ones which made it an e-commerce juggernaut, then this could make the expensive Whole Foods Market products accessible to more people, thereby posing a real threat to other markets offering natural and organic products.
“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. “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 Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world, the company said. John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, said Whole Foods. The parties expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017.