Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced Monday that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Walmart to acquire e-commerce startup Jet.com, Inc. for approximately $3 billion in cash, a portion of which will be paid over time. Additionally, $300 million of Walmart shares will be paid over time as part of the transaction.
Jet.com is a much-hyped e-commerce site which has positioned itself as a rival to Amazon. This deal is seen as a move by Walmart to inject new life into its e-commerce business, which has slowed considerably in recent times. This is in direct contrast to Amazon’s e-commerce business which has not only grown, but has garnered sales worth more than $100 billion annually.
At $13.6 billion, Walmart’s e-commerce sales are just a tiny fraction of its overall $482 billion total annual revenue. Behind Amazon, Walmart is the second most-trafficked retail website in the U.S.
The acquisition will build on and complement the significant foundation already in place to serve customers across the Walmart app, site and stores and position the company for even faster e-commerce growth in the future by expanding customer reach and adding new capabilities, said Walmart.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, has been approved by the Boards of Directors for both companies and is expected to close this calendar year.
Walmart and Jet will maintain distinct brands, with Walmart.com focusing on delivering the company’s Everyday Low Price strategy, while Jet will continue to provide a unique and differentiated customer experience with curated assortment, said Walmart.
“We believe the acquisition of Jet accelerates our progress across these priorities. Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in a prepared statement.