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Grocery Chains Plunge Again After Amazon Purchase of Whole Foods

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                Grocery Chains Plunge Again After Amazon Purchase of Whole Foods

Perhaps avocado toast delivered by drone is closer than we thought.

Amazon.com Inc. sent shock-waves through the stock market when it announced the purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion in cash, marking the biggest transaction ever for the e-commerce giant as it pushes deeper into groceries.

While Whole Foods shares are surging because of the 27 percent premium being paid, other grocers are getting crushed. Kroger Co. was down as much as 17 percent, Supervalu Inc. dropped as much as 22 percent and Weis Markets Inc. slumped as much as 9.6 percent.

Even Kroger’s most actively-traded debt is taking a hit. Its $1 billion of 4.45 percent coupon bonds due in 2047 notched the biggest decline since being issued in January, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Whole Foods came under pressure to find a buyer this year after activist investor Jana Partners LLC acquired a stake and began pushing for a deal. Amazon will pay $42 a share in cash for the organic-food chain, the companies said on Friday.

The slide isn’t limited to the U.S. either. Grocers and discounters’ share prices in Europe are sliding, with Royal Ahold Delhaize NV, the operator of Food Lion and Stop & Shop supermarkets, slumping 9.5 percent.

Tesco Plc fell 4.9 percent; J Sainsbury Plc declined 3.9 percent; Carrefour SA slumped 3.2 percent; Casino Guichard Perrachon SA slipped 2.7 percent and Metro AG lost 1 percent.

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