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Fri 16th Jun 2017 - Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7bn
Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7bn: Amazon is to buy Whole Foods Market for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at about $13.7bn, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt. “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – it’s doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and chief executive 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.” Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world. Mackey will remain as chief executive of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas. Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017. Whole Foods Market, which has nine sites in the UK, reported its second consecutive year of profit in the UK last year. The company lost money for eight consecutive years in the UK but turned to profit in its 2015 financial year. Companies House accounts for the year to 25 September 2016 show turnover up 3% on a like-for-like basis to £117.2m, from £114m the year before. Pre-tax profit was £1,206,000, down slightly from £1,312,000 the year before. Administrative expense improved by eight basis points to 40.5%, with a drop of 39 in the total number of staff during the year. In total, Whole Foods Market has 430 stores in the US, Canada and UK. Shares of the grocer were trading at $33.06 a share before the deal was annouced, so the deal represents a 27% premium on its closing price yesterday (Thursday, 15 June).


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