Amazon has announced that it is acquiring Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal. The strategic move follows the online retailer’s continuous push into the groceries industry, with recent news of the expansions of AmazonFresh Pickup and Amazon Go.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, said in a statement. “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.”
Until the companies close the transaction, which is expected to occur during the second half of 2017, Whole Foods will continue to operate under the Whole Foods Market brand with John Mackey remaining as the grocer’s chief executive officer.
The news might come as a shock to some, but Whole Foods investor Jana Partners suggested the acquisition earlier this year. In April, Jana Partners said that the grocery chain’s shares have dipped due to “chronic underperformance,” and suggested a major corporation like Amazon or Kroger step in.