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AUSTIN, Texas.—Online retail mega-company Amazon has acquired food retailer Whole Foods Market, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$13.7 billion.
The deal includes the grocery chain’s net debt.
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize 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,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO.
Whole Foods will continue to operate stores under its original brand. Mackey will remain as CEO and the company’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2017.
The deal comes a month after Whole Foods announced a board shake-up and cost-cutting plan amid falling sales. The grocery store operator was also under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.