Wal-Mart won't bid on Whole Foods
While Seeking Alpha reports that a bidding bar is still possible for Whole Foods Market, reports say that Wal-Mart Stores will not be a bidder. Earlier this month, Amazon rocked the grocery retail world when it announced it was purchasing Whole Foods Market Inc. for $42 a share or $13.7 billion in an all-cash transaction, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt. But completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods’ shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
“There's still plenty of talk about a retail giant stepping in to outbid Amazon for Whole Foods Market,” according to Seeking Alpha, a content service for financial markets.
Seeking Alpha cited Barclays as suggesting that Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores could bid $50 to $70 per share for Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market and still be accretive. But Wal-Mart is "not actively considering making an offer," according to Reuters. Target, The Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale have also been suggested as Whole Foods’ buyers in a defensive measure to Amazon's grocery threat, according to Seeking Alpha.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Wal-Mart's decision not to make an offer would appear to make Kroger the largest supermarket player capable of making a viable rival counter offer. "Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen declined to say whether the company would make a bid and refused to say whether Whole Foods held any appeal to the nation's largest supermarket chain," the Enquirer stated.
According to a press release issued last week by Amazon and Whole Foods Market announcing the deal, “Whole Foods will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market banner and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world.” John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin.
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize 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,” said Mackey, who co-founded Whole Foods in 1978.