June 16, 2017
Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods Market, Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at $13.7 billion, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt. The move into the supermarket space is both bold for the Seattle-based giant online retailer, and amps up competition with rival Walmart.
The grocery business represents roughly $700 to $800 billion in annual sales, and Amazon’s decision to add the Austin, TX-based upscale grocery chain reflects its strategy of building a stronger physical footprint. It will also help Whole Foods fend off pressure to do more to invigorate its sluggish stock price.
Amazon’s ambitions of becoming a supermarket started with AmazonFresh, a grocery delivery service, and it is testing retail concepts such as a cashier-less convenience store, as well as a grocery store serving walk-in customers and a hub for home deliveries.
Amazon proposes paying $42 per share for Whole Foods, a 27% premium to Thursday’s closing price.
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