The acquisition was valued at £32.88 ($42) a share, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt, Amazon said. The deal – which was subject to regulatory approval and approval from Whole Foods Market’s shareholders – was expected to be completed in the second half of 2017, Amazon said.
Whole Foods Market would continue trading under its own brand, and sourcing from its current suppliers, Amazon said.
‘Fun to eat healthy’
Amazon founder and ceo Jeff Bezos 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.”
The natural and organic foods supermarket’s shareholders would benefit from the acquisition, Whole Foods Market said. Its ceo and co-founder John Mackey will continue in his position, and the supermarket would continue operating from its headquarters in Austin, Texas, it was confirmed.
‘Opportunity to maximise value’
Whole Foods Market co-founder and ceo John Mackey said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximise value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”
The natural foods supermarket reported sales of £12.5bn ($16bn) last year, and has more than 460 stores across the UK, US and Canada. It has about 87,000 workers.
Meanwhile, in April, Amazon revealed it would be creating 1,200 jobs at a new fulfilment centre in Warrington, as it continued its drive to recruit 5,000 workers in the UK. Roles recruited for included operations managers, engineers, human resources and IT specialists.
Amazon acquires Whole Foods Market – at a glance
- £10.8bn acquisition
- £32.88 a share
- Whole Foods Market to continue trading under own name