Jun 16, 2017

Amazon unlikely to get a rival bid for Whole Foods

Julie Jacobson / AP

Amazon today agreed to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, or $42 per share, in an agreement that seems impervious to a rival offer for three reasons:

1. Cash is king: Amazon is paying cash for Whole Foods. For the grocer, this increases the certainty of close ― as compared to a leveraged buyout, where the purchasers would still need to secure debt commitments (Amazon also is raising debt, but has plenty of cash on hand, were it necessary). Who else could afford to compete on cash? Not Wal-Mart, which only has $6.5 billion, or Kroger, which doesn't even have $400 million. Theoretical possibilities are Alphabet (which has done some fresh grocery delivery) and Apple (which has physical retail experience), but there has been no indication that either want to buy into this sort of business.

2. Antitrust: Physical groceries (e.g., Albertsons) or generalist retailers (e.g., Wal-Mart) could run into FTC troubles on a Whole Foods purchase. Amazon, however, only has one physical grocery store right now (a concept site in Seattle), so it would be very tough to make an antitrust case stick.

3. Price premium: Whole Foods would have to pay a $400 million termination fee to Amazon, were it to take a rival offer. That means another bidder would need to pay a minimum of $14.1 billion just to match.

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Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

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Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.