Amazon announced Friday its plans to buy Whole Foods Market, according to an article by CNBC. The online retail giant plans to acquire the organic grocer for $42 a share in a deal valued at $13.7 Billion.
According to the CNBC article, Whole Foods Market has been under scrutiny for its poor performance; investors of the company have suggested the chain merge with another grocer. Since the announcement, Amazon stock rose 3 percent and Whole Foods shares skyrocketed 28 percent. However the shares of several other large grocery chains began to drop.
Whole Foods Market stores tend to be in urban markets where both Amazon Fresh and Prime Now overlap, and Amazon has been looking to expand its online grocery business, according to CNBC.
John Mackey, CEO of the chain, will remain in his position even after the deal closes. Whole Foods Market will also still operate under the same brand.
“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 Mackey in a statement made by Whole Foods Market.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, also commented on the brand that the chain has already developed in its years of business.
“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,” said Bezos in a statement.
Whole Foods was founded in 1978 and now has more than 460 locations, three of which are in Westchester towns. Local stores were not at liberty to speak about the deal between Amazon and Whole Foods Market.
The deal is expected to close later in 2017 after approval by Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.