Online retailer Amazon is to acquire US supermarket chain Whole Foods Market Inc for $13.7bn (£10.72bn).
The move sees the online retailer acquire a brick and mortar chain just a year after launching a grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, in the UK in June last year.
The Financial Times said the deal significantly ramps up Amazon’s bid to disrupt the US grocery industry, where its presence has been growing over the last few years.
Bloomberg, meanwhile, said the transaction would send “a shockwave across both the online and brick-and-mortar industries, uniting two brands that weren’t seen as obvious partners”.
John Mackey, c.e.o. of Whole Foods, is to remain as c.e.o. of the company and its headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas. The chain will continue to operate under the Whole Foods brands.
Mackey said in a statement: “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”.
Amazon c.e.o. Jess Bezo added: "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."
The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017.