Seattle-based online retail giant Amazon today announced a definite merger agreement, where Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market and its debt for $13.7 billion in an all-cash transaction.
Whole Foods, which operates seven stores throughout Michigan, including one on Mack Avenue in Detroit, will continue to operate stores under the brand and source products from vendors and partners worldwide. John Mackey will continue as CEO of Whole Foods, and the company will continue to operate their headquarters in Austin. Shoppers at additional locations in East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Troy, West Bloomfield Township, and Rochester Hills will also likely experience business as usual.
In Dec. 2016, Amazon opened a $90 million distribution warehouse in Livonia, following a $7.5 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. Located between Plymouth Road and Schoolcraft, the regional fulfillment center created 500 new jobs and currently employs approximately 1,000.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” says Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO. “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.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods’ shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect the deal to be finalized during the second half of 2017.