NEW YORK (AP/NBC) — Online juggernaut Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, including debt.
Amazon.com Inc. will pay $42 per share of Whole Foods Market Inc.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will remain CEO of the grocery store chain after the deal closes, and the store will continue to operate under the Whole Foods brands.
The deal is expected to close in the second half year.
“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,” Mackey said in a statement.
Whole Foods has been under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners, which acquired a stake in the company earlier this year and had been pushing the company to accelerate its turnaround or put itself up for sale.