NEW YORK — The meal delivery company Wonder Group is acquiring Blue Apron for approximately $103 million. With the acquisition, Wonder is expected to use Blue Apron as a platform to build out its online delivery service.
“Wonder is creating the mealtime super app, serving a broad range of occasions that feature cuisines from some of the world’s best chefs and restaurants while leveraging our culinary engineering and vertically integrated model,” said Marc Lore, founder and chief executive officer of Wonder Group. “At-home meals play a key role in this vision and have been on our strategic roadmap since the beginning.”
Wonder initially launched as a meal delivery company that featured vehicles from which meals would be prepared and delivered in New York City. But earlier this year the company changed its strategy and began delivering meals from storefronts.
“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,” Mr. Lore said.
Earlier this year, Blue Apron adopted an “asset-light business model” and sold its infrastructure to FreshRealm, LLC. FreshRealm continued to produce Blue Apron meal kits, and that agreement will continue with Wonder Group, according to the companies.
“Wonder and Blue Apron deliver high-quality, chef-curated meals, making this a great match to offer more incredible mealtime experiences,” said Linda Findley, president and CEO of Blue Apron. “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. Further, the transaction delivers immediate and certain value for Blue Apron stockholders at a significant premium over recent trading prices.”
As part of the agreement, Blue Apron shareholders will receive $13 per share of class A common stock. The per share purchase price represents a 137% premium to Blue Apron’s Sept. 28 closing price of $5.49 per share, according to Wonder Group.