In an announcement that surprised many, online retail giant Amazon, a company that got its start by selling books online, confirmed that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Whole Foods for $42 per share. It’s an all-cash transaction which values the deal at approximately $13.7 billion.
For those who are unaware, Whole Foods is a high-end grocery chain in the United States that has more than 400 retail locations across the country. Several Whole Foods locations are also operating in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos acknowledged the nearly four-decade history that Whole Foods has of “satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers,” with its natural and organic products.
Bezos says the company has been doing a good job and “we want that to continue,” which means that there will be no immediate change in Whole Foods’ day-to-day operations once this deal is closed.
The official press release also confirms that Whole Foods Market will continue to operate its stores under the existing brand. John Mackey will be retained as the company’s CEO and its headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas where it has always been.
Amazon’s bid for Whole Foods is due to be approved by the company’s shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other closing conditions. Amazon and Whole Foods expect the deal to be closed during the second half of this year.
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