Online retail giant Amazon just made a major retail move by announcing it’s acquiring organic grocer Whole Foods Market for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $13.7 billion.
Whole Foods Market in April reported its sixth consecutive quarter of declining sales. The supermarket chain focuses on organic foods without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.
The deal, subject to customary closing conditions, should be completed during the second half of this year. The acquisition includes Whole Foods Market’s net debt as well.
Whole Foods Market stores and brand will live on and John Mackey will remain the company’s CEO. Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.
Jeff Bezons, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, said:
Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. 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.
As Statista noted, the move gives Amazon almost as many stores as Apple: Whole Foods currently has 456 stores worldwide versus 496 Apple Stores across 21 countries.
The online retailer entered the grocery market in 2007 with the launch of AmazonFresh. In other words, Whole Food products will be available for online ordering through AmazonFresh.
Whole Foods Market is the United States’ first certified organic grocer. The company is ranked #28 on Fortune’s list of World’s Most Admired Companies for 2017.