Friday, 20 July, 2018

Amazon just purchased Whole Foods for a cool $13.7 billion United States dollars

Customers leave the Whole Foods Market in Boulder Colorado US Customers leave the Whole Foods Market in Boulder Colorado US
Kenny Thornton | 17 June, 2017, 02:17

Recent reports had suggested Whole Foods as a candidate for takeover by a traditional grocer like Kroger Co.

Whole Foods has been the topic of industry speculation since activist investor Jana Partners acquired almost 9% of its stock earlier this year, proposing new board members and a slate of changes it said would result in improved financial performance.

For Whole Foods, a new corporate parent could ease pressure from investors demanding better performance as the retailer transforms its business in the wake of mainstream competitors adapting a natural foods positioning. John Mackey will remain the CEO of the chain and the stores and brand will remain operating as usual.

Amazon has always been pushing to expand its online grocery business, seeing it as an emerging opportunity.

The Amazon-Whole Foods combination could put even more pressure on those chains and other big grocery sellers. This move could also give Whole Foods room to make necessary investments in technology and infrastructure. Also, Wal-Mart has been successful with its so-called click-and-collect model, where shoppers order online but stop by the store to pickup their orders.

As sales have slumped, Whole Foods executives have tried to highlight what distinguishes it from rivals. Their stores tend to be in urban markets where there was an overlap with Amazon Fresh and Prime Now.

Want to see (a very) pregnant Serena Williams playing tennis? Watch
He divorced Venus and Serena's mother, Oracene Price , in 2002 after accusations of domestic abuse, reports The Daily Mail . But Lakeisha says she's the one raising their son, adding that school teachers would back up her claims.

Kroger sank almost 16 percent before the bell. Supervalu dropped 11.5 percent while Costco dropped 6.5 percent.

Amazon already offers grocery-delivery services in five markets, but the Whole Foods purchase would let it expand to many more.

Sprouts wasn't immediately available for comment.

Shares of Amazon rose about 3 percent Friday morning.

The sale, which has not yet been approved by Whole Foods shareholders, is expected to be concluded in the second half of 2017.

Jana Partners did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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