Amazon Threatened To Kill Its Whole Foods Deal if the Grocer Started a Bidding War

An anonymous reader shares a report: Amazon has long had a reputation as a hard-ball negotiator. It turns out its negotiations with Whole Foods leading up to its $13.7 billion acquisition agreement were no different, according to an SEC filing outlining a timeline of the talks between the two companies. On May 23, Amazon made a written offer to acquire Whole Foods for $41 a share, less than a month after the first meeting between senior executives of the companies, the filing said. Whole Foods came back with a counterproposal of $45 a share, which got Amazon to increase its offer to $42. But Amazon’s bankers from Goldman Sachs then “stressed several times” that the increase to $42 represented Amazon’s “best and final offer.” Amazon’s bankers “also made it clear again … that Amazon.com would disengage from its efforts to acquire the company and pursue other alternatives and initiatives if the $42.00 per share price were not accepted,” the filing said, “and that Amazon.com expected that the company would not approach other potential bidders while the company was negotiating with Amazon.com.” Amazon also threatened it would walk away if the talks leaked to the press, which they did not. Translation: $42 or nada.


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