Walmart to acquire Jet.com for US$3.3 billion

jet.comUS retail giant Walmart has announced it will acquire pureplay online retailer Jet.com for approximately $3 billion in cash, plus $300 million Walmart shares.

The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal last week, is set to boost Walmart’s e-commerce efforts and take on Amazon.

“We’re looking for ways to lower prices, broaden our assortment and offer the simplest, easiest shopping experience because that’s what our customers want,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart.

“We believe the acquisition of Jet accelerates our progress across these priorities. Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart.”

As part of the deal, Walmart gains the brand Jet, popular with Millennial shoppers, as well as the intellectual property of a team of employees attracted to working for a high profile start-up which has attracted more than $500 million in capital from investors.

The companies said Jet and Walmart will be kept as two distinct brands, “with Walmart.com focusing on delivering the company’s Everyday Low Price strategy, while Jet will continue to provide a unique and differentiated customer experience with curated assortment.”

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, has been approved by the boards of directors for both companies and is expected to close this calendar year.

Jet was co-founded by CEO Marc Lore, who also founded e-commerce company Quidsi, the parent company of e-commerce sites Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com, which was sold to Amazon for $545 million in 2010.

“We started Jet with the vision of creating a new shopping experience,” Lore said. “Today, I couldn’t be more excited that we will be joining with Walmart to help fuel the realisation of that vision. The combination of Walmart’s retail expertise, purchasing scale, sourcing capabilities, distribution footprint, and digital assets – together with the team, technology and business we have built here at Jet – will allow us to deliver more value to customers.”

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