Amazon.com to acquire Whole Foods at US$42 per share

Amazon is making a bold expansion into physical stores with the $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods, setting the stage for radical retail experiments that could revolutionize how people buy groceries and everything else.

Armed with giant warehouses, shopper data, the latest technology and almost endless funds - and now with Whole Foods' hundreds of physical stores - Amazon is set to reshape a US$800 billion grocery market that is already changing rapidly. All of a sudden, that patent approval seems a lot more ominous, given that this move gives the online retail giant immediate brick-and-mortar access to a certain type of consumer with disposable income.

Amazon runs their own online grocery - Amazon Fresh - which started a decade ago in Seattle, Washington. It operates approximately 456 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Jana, which disclosed an 8.3 percent stake in Whole Foods in April and is the company's second biggest shareholder, stands to make roughly $300 million from the sale to Amazon.

Online delivery of groceries so far has been tough for any company to pull off because of customers' concerns about the quality of meat and produce, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Texas-based Whole Foods Market is engaged in the business of natural and organic foods supermarket.

When it raised $400 million in March, Instacart said it operated in 35 markets and had 135 partnerships with grocery retailers around the country.

58 people missing and presumed dead in London fire
Building officials have not commented since the fire. 24 people remain in hospital, with 12 of those people in critical condition. Construction company Rydon made the refurbishment of the block worth Rs 8.7 million pound and was completed in July 2016.

The AP reported that Campbell Soup, Hormel, General Mills and Sysco shares fell between 3.2 and 3.3 percent, while United Natural Foods shares dropped 8.6 percent.

Amazon also has been testing automation technology at a Seattle convenience store that's now open only to Amazon employees.

The merger offers a test of whether Amazon, which has generally built its business on low prices, can successfully integrate into the mainstream a grocer known for premium service and higher prices.

"It's convenience, right? We all live a busy, hectic life", Bradford said.

Kroger's market value also stands at just $16.5 billion, so less than what Amazon is offering for Whole Foods. Whole Foods shares were trading just under that level in early trading on Friday, as investors saw negligible regulatory risk to the deal closing.

Amazon already offers grocery-delivery services in some cities but customers seem excited at the prospect that the Whole Foods deal will make food at your doorstep even easier.

Amazon could also get a better picture of customers by marrying data from Amazon and Whole Foods' loyalty programs. Certainly, it would appear to Cantillon that Bezos sees the future as slightly more nuanced than the vista of couch-bound online shoppers ordering everything from fast food to films online. The acquisition price implies a trailing 12-month price-to-earnings multiple for Whole Foods of 31 times, versus a 14.4 average for the S&P 500 Food Retail index.

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