- Blue Apron announced Friday it has agreed to be purchased by Wonder Group, a food tech company founded by former Walmart e-commerce executive Marc Lore, for $13 per share, which represents an equity value of roughly $103 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023.
- Blue Apron said the deal is intended to create a leading platform for meals.
- While the deal’s price represents a 137% premium to Blue Apron’s closing price on Thursday, it is significantly below the company’s $1.9 billion valuation from its 2017 IPO.
Blue Apron furthers Wonder’s strategic position as it looks to offer a mealtime super app that serves a range of occasions and offers a variety of cuisines, Lore said in the announcement.
“Wonder and Blue Apron deliver high-quality, chef-curated meals, making this a great match to offer more incredible mealtime experiences,” Blue Apron President and CEO Linda Findley said in the announcement.
After the transaction closes, Wonder plans to continue Blue Apron’s current operations under the Blue Apron brand with expected “new synergies between consumer-facing apps and delivery logistics,” per the announcement. Findley said that Blue Apron’s brand and products “will stay the same” and that there is more opportunity for product expansion in the future.
Blue Apron’s merger agreement with Wonder follows the meal kit company’s recent shift to an asset-light business, which resulted from the sale of its operational infrastructure and strategic partnership with FreshRealm, a supplier of fresh meals to retailers. Blue Apron said it considered Wonder’s proposal along with others as part of a strategic review process led by its board of directors.
“[The] transaction delivers immediate and certain value for Blue Apron stockholders at a significant premium over recent trading prices,” Findley said.
Lore started Wonder after heading up e-commerce at Walmart and founding and helming several companies such as Jet.com and Quidsi Inc. Wonder initially ran mobile kitchens serving up meals designed by celebrity chefs but then pivoted its business strategy to conventional meal delivery.
In summer 2022, Wonder raised $350 million in Series B funding, putting its valuation at about $3.5 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Wonder currently partners with chefs and restaurants on meal delivery and has food halls in New York and New Jersey for delivery, pickup and dine-in, according to its website. Meals ordered through Wonder are made-to-order in a Wonder location and delivered by a company courier.
Blue Apron said that the closing of the transaction is not subject to any financing conditions or regulatory approvals and noted that Wonder has committed financing on its balance sheet to fund the deal.