Walmart Buys Jet.com for $3B

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Walmart Buys Jet.com for $3B

By CGT Staff - 08/08/2016
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Jet.com, Inc. announce they have entered into a definitive agreement for Walmart to acquire Jet 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.

"Walmart wants to be more competitive to Amazon.com. Walmart, known for efficiency, lacks the understanding of the shopper. The attractiveness? Jet's pricing engine to orchestrate price/mix and delivery. The mobile shopper is more sensitive: execution on price, availability and delivery is more critical. Efficiency is not sufficient. E-commerce ups the ante for supply chain effectiveness," comments Supply Chain Insights Founder Lora Cecere in a LinkedIn article.

"I believe this is a good thing for the industry overall, and this merger has the potential to make a dent in Amazon’s dominance," says Kara Romanow, executive editor, CGT. "Wal-Mart obviously has the supply chain infrastructure in place to support their brick and mortar locations, but was never able to compete at the same level online. This acquisition will enable them to leverage Jet’s technology and e-commerce savvy to compete in the digital world."
 
The acquisition will build on the 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. 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, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “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 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. 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 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. Among other things, Jet has:
  • Demonstrated ability to scale with speed, reaching $1 billion in run-rate Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and offering 12 million SKUs in its first year.
  • A growing customer base of urban and millennial customers with more than 400,000 new shoppers added monthly and an average of 25,000 daily processed orders.
  • Best-in-class technology that rewards customers in real time with savings on items that are bought and shipped together, thereby reducing the supply-chain and logistics costs often buried in the price of goods.
  • A select group of more than 2,400 retailer and brand partners tailored to create an attractive and distinctive assortment for consumers.
“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.

Walmart 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.

Financial advisors to Walmart on this transaction were Allen & Company and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.

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