Amazon today announced their latest stretch into the grocery market by acquiring Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion. The online retailer will pay $42 per share in an all-cash transaction that’s valued at $13.7 billion which includes Whole Food’s net debt.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “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.”
Amazon notes that all Whole Foods markets will remain open and the brand will stay alive, while John Mackey, CEO of the organic foods outlet, will also keep his job.
At this time, it remains unclear as to what Amazon has in store with their acquisition of Whole Foods. Obviously, they’ve been trying to enter the grocery business for quite some time what with their AmazonFresh delivery service, but this service hasn’t exactly taken off like they originally anticipated. The company also piloted an employee-free grocery store in Seattle, but we haven’t heard anything about this effort since it’s debut a while back. There’s a possibility that Amazon will simply grow their presence in this market by mentioning themselves in everything Whole Foods does, but as for true developments in their efforts, things remain foggy. Of course, we should learn soon what Amazon’s intentions are with their latest big buy.
Amazon is expected to close this acquisition during the second half of this year.