Amazon has announced that it will acquire upscale grocery chain Whole Foods in an all-cash deal valued at about $13.7 billion, including debt. The agreement calls for Amazon to pay $42 per share of Whole Foods, with both parties expected to finalize the transaction by the end of 2017, pending approval from shareholders and regulators.
"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 CEO. "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 companies said that Whole Foods will continue to be headquartered in Austin, Texas, with co-founder John Mackey remaining as CEO. Founded in 1978, the chain employs over 87,000 people and has more than 460 stories in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.