Amazon has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire American supermarket chain Whole Foods Market , for $13.7bn.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: “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 Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximise 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.”
After the acquisition, Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand.
Amazon has noted that John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.
As of last fiscal year, Whole Foods Market had reported sales of $16bn.
It operates more than 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK.
The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of this year and is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders and regulatory authorities, as well as other customary closing conditions.