Nine months after rolling beyond its van-based business model to focus on building a brick-and-mortar presence, Wonder has purchased Blue Apron for $103 million, one of the best known brands in the meal-kit category.
Wonder Group was founded by entrepreneur Marc Lore, previously president and CEO of Walmart’s ecommerce division, including his previous company Jet.com, which Walmart later acquired.
Blue Apron CEO Linda Findley said in a statement that “the Blue Apron brand and products that our customers know and love will stay the same, with more opportunity for product expansion in the future.”
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Blue Apron stockholders will be entitled to receive $13 in cash per share of Class A common stock through a tender offer, representing an equity value of approximately $103 million. The per share purchase price represents a 137 percent premium to the September 28, 2023 closing price and a 77 percent premium to the 30-day volume weighted average price of the Company’s Class A common stock.
Wonder said its acquisition of Blue April will “create a leading platform for mealtime, enhancing mealtime with choice, flexibility and convenience through two exceptional brands. The combination is expected to enhance both companies’ abilities to deliver chef-curated meals with high-quality ingredients to more customers across the country, solving for additional meal moments throughout the week.”
Wonder plans to continue Blue Apron’s current operations serving customers nationwide under the Blue Apron brand, with “new synergies” between its consumer-facing apps and delivery logistics.
As part of Wonder’s recent new direction, the company is pioneering what it calls a “new category of fast fine dining” that includes collaborations with some of the world’s best-known chefs, including Bobby Flay, José Andrés, Nancy Silverton, Michael Symon, Marcus Samuelsson and others.
“By joining forces with Wonder, we continue to realize our vision of Better Living Through Better Food, and support how families and loved ones come together over food,” Findley said. “Further, the transaction delivers immediate and certain value for Blue Apron stockholders at a significant premium over recent trading prices.”
Wonder Group founder and CEO Marc Lore said at-home meals are a key part of his vision, and have been part of the company’s roadmap since the beginning.
“When the opportunity presented itself to unite with Blue Apron, pioneers in the meal kit industry, we knew it would accelerate our strategic position, create immediate opportunities for synergy and most importantly, enable us to further delight customers by expanding the ways you can access and experience Wonder,” he said.
As part of Blue Apron’s shift to an asset-light business in May of this year, it sold its operational infrastructure for $50 million to fellow meal-kit provider FreshRealm. The company will release its third-party 2023 results before the market opens on Thursday, November 9.