Walmart said today that it will buy e-commerce company Jet.com for approximately $3 billion in cash, a portion of which will be paid over time. Additionally, $300 million of Walmart shares will be paid over time as part of the transaction.
The acquisition will build on and complement the significant foundation already in place to serve customers across the Walmart app, site and stores and position the company for even faster e-commerce growth in the future by expanding customer reach and adding new capabilities, according to the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant. 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.
“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 of 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.”
Jet is among the fastest growing and most innovative e-commerce companies in the U.S., with an experienced leadership team led by co-founder and CEO Marc Lore, together with fellow co-founders Mike Hanrahan and Nate Faust, according to Walmart. Among other things, Lore previously co-founded and led Quidsi, the parent company of e-commerce sites Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com. With the help of Faust and Hanrahan, Lore grew Quidsi into a prominent and successful business that was ultimately sold. The acquisition of Jet will infuse Walmart with fresh ideas and expertise, as well as an attractive brand with proven appeal, especially with Millennials, the first generation of true digital natives, Walmart says.
“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 realization 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.”
Walmart and Jet will maintain 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. Walmart and Jet will leverage innovative technology solutions from both companies to develop new offerings to help customers save time and money, according to the companies.
Walmart says it believes it will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to complete the transaction, and both companies intend to make all necessary filings in the near future.