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Whole Foods shareholders approve Amazon deal


Source: Sustainable Food News

Shareholders of Whole Foods Market, Inc. on Wednesday morning voted to approve the company's $13.7 billion in cash acquisition by online retail giant Amazon.com Inc.

John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of the Austin, Texas-based organic and natural grocery chain of 465 stores, who stands to gain nearly $9 million in the transaction, will continue to run the company after the deal closes, expected by the end of the year but contingent on the approval of antitrust regulators.

The proposed acquisition, which was first announced in June, would have Amazon paying Whole Foods' shareholders $42 per share.

Whole Foods' stock was trading Wednesday at $41.71 just after the vote. The shares have a 52-week range between $27.67 and $43.84. Whole Foods has a market cap of $13.4 billion.

Seattle-based Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), with $136 billion in annual sales, said the deal to acquire the world's largest organic and natural grocery chain for $42 per share, a 27 percent premium on WFM's closing stock price Thursday, includes the net debt of WFM, which has $15.8 billion in annual sales.

Amazon said Austin, Texas-based WFM (NASDAQ:WFM), which was the first national certified-organic grocer, will continue to operate from its headquarters and its stores in North America and Britain will remain under the Whole Foods Market brand.

Under the terms of the deal, WFM would be obligated to pay a $400 million fee if it terminates the merger agreement, according to a securities filing.

 

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