Electronic commerce and cloud computing company Amazon, ranked number two on Fortune’s 2017 list of World’s Most Admired Companies, will be acquiring upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion USD, according to a company statement.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO shared, “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.” He added, “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 still operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world. John Mackey, co-founder and CEO will also remain as the CEO of Whole Foods, and 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.”
With Amazon having plans to expand beyond online retail into physical stores, the company is slowly building more branches and primarily focusing on its supermarket venue that made its initial push through AmazonFresh, its grocery delivery service.
Under the terms of the proposed deal, Amazon would pay $42 a share for Whole Foods, and the grocery chain which encompasses more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and Britain had sales of $16 billion USD in the last fiscal year.
In addition, no job reductions are planned as a result of the deal, as Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon says that the company has no plans to use the technology it developed for Amazon Go to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods.
The companies are expected to close out the transaction during the second half of 2017.