Shares of the grocer were trading at $US33.06 a share before the deal was announced, so the deal represents a 27% premium on its closing price yesterday.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a press release. “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.”
The move comes after activist investor Jana Partners took an 8% stake in Whole Foods in April and pushed the company to look into strategic options including a sale.
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