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article imageAmazon announces it will buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

By Karen Graham     Jun 16, 2017 in Business
In what is being called a blockbuster of a deal, e-commerce giant Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including debt.
The deal will see Amazon in hundreds of physical stores across the country as it fulfills the e-commerce company's goal of selling more groceries to the public. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017, with Amazon reportedly paying $42 a share, according to Bloomberg.
The deal is much larger than Amazon's previous acquisition of video-game service Twitch Interactive for $970 million in 2014. John Mackey, Whole Foods’ outspoken co-founder, will remain as the CEO of Whole Foods, a position that gives him a victory after his battle with activist investor Jana Partners, who threatened to topple his position in the company.
"Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world. John Mackey will remain as CEO and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas," according to the press release.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also spoke of the ongoing priority of providing customers with well-sourced health groceries: "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."
But the Wall Street Journal was a bit more succinct when financial editor Dennis K. Berman tweeted, "Amazon did not just buy Whole Foods grocery stores. It bought 431 upper-income, prime-location distribution nodes for everything it does."
Whole Foods on Twitter
Interestingly, this news comes just a day after Digital Journal reported that Amazon was interested in another acquisition, corporate messaging startup Slack, worth an estimated $9 billion or more.
As Digital Journal wrote about Slack, "the purchase would be hugely significant for Amazon, a company seeking to grow beyond its online retailer roots. The company has made some strong inroads into consumer tech with the likes of its Echo smart speaker and Kindle e-readers. It doesn’t have any presence in the enterprise market though, something that the purchase of Slack could resolve overnight." Similar results could be gained from both the Whole Foods acquisition and any purchase of Slack that might be brewing.
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