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Amazon To Boost Brick-And-Mortar Presence With $13.7B Whole Foods Deal

A Whole Foods Market in Houston
A Whole Foods Market in Houston

Amazon announced Friday morning that it has agreed to pay $42/share for Whole Foods in an all-cash deal worth $13.7B.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will remain in his role, Whole Foods stores will continue to operate under the Whole Foods banner and the company will maintain its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Amazon, which has established a strong brick-and-mortar presence these past couple of years, had reportedly been looking to expand its retail storefronts. News broke last October that Amazon planned to open 2,000 supermarkets in the next 10 years, a report that Amazon denied.

Whole Foods had been under pressure from activist investors to turn the organic grocer's sagging performance around and to entertain a possible sale to another grocer. Supermarket chain Albertson's kicked the tires on a Whole Foods acquisition in April.

News of the acquisition, Amazon's largest ever, had an immediate impact on the stock market. Amazon shares were up 3.61% Friday morning while Whole Foods, which took a beating on Wall Street Thursday, saw its stock price leap nearly 27% in early trading.