Amazon Acquires US Grocer Whole Foods Market
Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company. Amazon said on Friday that it had agreed to buy the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion.
Amazon.com Inc. will pay $42 per share for Whole Foods Market Inc., including debt. The deal comes a month after Whole Foods announced a board shake-up and cost-cutting plan amid falling sales. The grocery store operator was also under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.
For Whole Foods, the deal represents a chance to fend off pressure from activist investors frustrated by a sluggish stock price. Whole Foods last month unveiled a sweeping overhaul of its board, replacing five directors, naming a new chairwoman and bringing in a new chief financial officer. It also laid out plans to improve operations and cut costs.
With Amazon, Whole Foods gets a deep-pocketed owner with significant technological expertise and a willingness to invest aggressively in a quest for dominance.
Whole Foods will keep operating stores under its name and John Mackey will as CEO, with headquarters in Austin, Texas. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017.