Amazon's plan to take over the supermarket business just got more serious. The online retail giant announced it's buying Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion on Friday morning. The deal will see Amazon acquire the organic grocer for $42 per share, and will be finalized in the second half of this year, pending routine regulatory oversight.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said of the blockbuster merger in a press release: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. 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.”
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who will stay in his current role after the deal is finalized, offered more praise of the news: "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."
Bezos' empire has long harbored ambitions to not only break into the brick-and-mortar retail space, but to reinvent it: Plans for Amazon GO, the company's physical grocery operation what would eliminate checkout lines, was announced as a concept in December, while the tech giant's first physical book retailer opened in New York City last month.
While the news is still developing, it's safe to say that Amazon's expansionary vision -- or dare we say its plan for world domination -- is indeed gaining momentum.