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Amazon wasn’t the only company that tried to buy Whole Foods



A new filing confirms that there were other suitors trying to buy Whole Foods, but that Amazon put pressure on Whole Foods not to talk to them.

The document cites a “Company X” that expressed interest in having exploratory conversations in mid-April, but did not make a formal offer. Reuters has identified that company as Albertsons groceries.

Over the next two weeks, four private equity firms indicated they were inclined to discuss a leveraged buyout or investment in Whole Foods.

In that same time frame, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey discussed a media report that suggested Amazon once had considered acquiring them. He asked an outside consultant to make a phone call to introduce the two parties.

After conversations with Peter Krawiec, Amazon.com’s vice president of Worldwide Corporate Development, the companies wound up signing a non-disclosure agreement and met in Seattle on April 30. They discussed strategic possibilities, but an offer wasn’t made.

Whole Foods reached out to Albertsons to schedule a meeting but remained in contact with Amazon. They also received an inquiry from undisclosed “Company Y.”

Amazon met with Albertsons on May 18. They told Whole Foods that a possible acquisition would value the company between $35 and $40 per share. Later that day they had a conversation with “Company Y,” but did not discuss an offer.

By May 23, Amazon made an offer for $41 per share to buy Whole Foods. In the letter, it said they “reserved the right to terminate discussions if there was any leak or rumor of its interest in acquiring the company.”

Because of this, Whole Foods decided not to pursue talks with private equity firms, afraid that there would be possible reports in the media. They went back to Amazon asking for $45 per share. Amazon countered with $42 per share and said it was their “best and final offer.” They also said they expected Whole Foods not to discuss options with other bidders.

On June 1, Whole Foods told Amazon they agreed to the deal and the due diligence process was underway. The transaction documents were completed by June 15 and the merger was announced June 16.

The acquisition took many people by surprise, not only because a tech company was buying a grocery chain, but also because Amazon traditionally made smaller deals.

The $13.7 billion deal was the first time Amazon even made a purchase over $1 billion. Amazon’s $970 million purchase of Twitch was their largest previous deal.

The acquisition suggests that Amazon is committed to building out its grocery business. They had already been making deliveries through Amazon Fresh and had begun introducing brick-and-mortar stores. There are undoubtedly synergies between these efforts and Whole Foods.

But while the deal has been announced, it has not yet closed. Pending regulatory approval, the deal will be completed later this year.

PR

Ramped Up Crostini with Ricotta and Pea Shoots


Chopped ramps add crunch, bite and attitude to pristine, fluffy ricotta which is smeared over crostini and topped with a jumble of sweet pea shoots. This simple recipe highlights the freshest ingredients and the contrasting nice and naughty flavors of springtime. If you can't locate ramps in your market, then try substituting spring onions.

WHO: TasteFood lives in San Francisco and has studied at at Le Cordon Bleu.
WHAT: Springtime crostini with complex flavors that never let on how easy they are to make.
HOW: It's practically just assembly: aromatics -- ramp bulbs, lemon zest, and mint -- are stirred into ricotta that's spooned onto toasted baguette then topped with pea shoots.
WHY WE LOVE IT: You wouldn't think raw ramp bulbs would be appealing, but they are offset so well by the creamy ricotta that FOOD52er Rivka even ate them for breakfast.

Serves 8

8 - 1/2" thick slices baguette
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped ramps or green garlic, bulbs and stems only (or substitute with the bulb and pale green parts of spring onions)
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
generous handful pea shoots
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly brush bagette slices with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake in oven until golden brown on both sides, turning once, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove.

Combine ricotta, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoons salt and black pepper in a bowl; mix well until light and fluffy. Stir in ramps, mint and lemon zest. Spread ricotta on baguette slices.

Top crostini with a generous pinch of pea shoots. Drizzle a little olive oil over crostini, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt and black pepper.

Everything You Need to Publish a Novel

The “Now What?” Months continue, and we’re shifting our focus to the wide world of publishing! Today, Chris Angotti, NaNoWriMo’s chief operations officer, argues that you really only need three things to publish a novel:

In January of 1977, a British punk fanzine called Sideburns published one of the most influential infographics of all-time. It featured three crude guitar diagrams, along with this annotation:

This is a chord. This is another. This is a third. Now form a band.

The invitation was symbolic of the emerging DIY punk aesthetic: giving readers the tools to go from fans to creators. It was an acknowledgment of amateurism and imperfection, the idea that anyone could pick up a guitar and make noise. The resulting music might be good, terrible, or just okay (this category making up the majority of late-’70s UK punk), but the method to do it was accessible to everyone.

I think about that graphic a lot, and I’m proud that NaNoWriMo exists in the same tradition. We believe that anyone can write a book, and we try to provide the stuff to make it happen. (“This is the page. This is the deadline. This is your imagination. Now write a novel.”)

Unfortunately, publishing can often feel like a whole different story. There are so many gatekeepers to getting your work out there, so many boxes to tick to be an “expert” worthy of being widely read. These gatekeepers aren’t just external, either. They’re our inner editors, and our self-senses of talent, determination, and worth.

Today, I want to give you (or remind you of) some tools to help you move forward in the publishing process. Like those three chords in Sideburns, it’s the minimum of what you need—but sometimes that’s what’s most potent.

This is self-confidence.

You remember that you already wrote a whole novel, right? And chances are, you’ve got something there, even if it needs excavation. The hard part was sitting down and getting it out; editing, pitching, and publishing are all based on the work you’ve done already. You can do this, and your story deserves to be read.

This is acceptance of imperfection.

There’s a myth that your novel needs to be 100% perfect before you submit it anywhere. Sure, it should be very solid—as solid as you can make it. But agents and editors will help you make it better. Do all you can, but don’t let the effort keep you from ever putting it out there.

This is knowledge of the field.

Want to traditionally publish? There’s no shortage of information out there, including plenty on this very blog. Know how to write a query letter and make a list of the agents (and publishers if they accept direct submissions) active in your genre, and you’re off to a fine start.

If you want to self-publish, bootstrap some expertise on the best companies out there (we work with a few), plus the design and promotion skills you’ll need for later on.

A dream of warm


Time dragged to the season's clothes, the warmth of the sun on the windowsill. The branches were swaying in the wind with shadows, mottled memory, in this quiet moment, with a tea curl rising, dust and mind become gentle, like a simple flower, scattered with faint fragrance, in the sun in the elegant bloom, this thesis sunny time. The beautiful and cool, in the heart of the harbour, sailing in the writing ink in mind silently vacuum tube, time enron.

Yellow paper with light pen light written annual poems. The word lines in affection, glabella lips smile blooming into the four seasons, picked up every time looking back, every smile, gently into each season blossom, regardless of wind and rain, cold, in ordinary days, the hearts of the branches is always green yellow, thin broken pieces of warm open flowers, a wisp of fragrance, around in my. If hold warm hands, let the dream place, is the most beautiful time,

Thoughts of the vine, cling to the past gone with the wind into the heart empty. Open the window to my heart, shake all over the sky of stars, into earthly bags, carrying a light breeze, gently fragrance, do an elegant and ordinary woman, Ann and mind corner, warm days, in a warm heart, lingering thoughts, and keep this Shi Qing huan. The stars are dense, into the glass state of mind, keep long hair fluttering, a road and song and line. Every heart wrapped, in ink years let elegant act static heart planting flowers and grass, watch the sun, Enron in the warmth of congee warm tea.

Now over the spring green, summer lush, quiet beauty of autumn to winter, the bleak. Downtown after a quiet, you can experience in the cold warm warmth, only warm to let everything becomes soft and moved. Grateful Fanghua moment in life, let the years there is a fragrance of precipitation, despite the time old face, to hide the light, not to change or pure throbbing heart. A cord through the heart of emotion brushless dc motor, relieved of all fetters, all will become clear sky, let the life become thick, in the life of the deep place, still bloom day, Mei Ying Ying smile, warm.

I'm the only thin pen not gorgeous flowery poem, only the light back. As a snowflake falling posture, and this fireworks fleeting. The heart is also clear, I only keep a ray of love, with the window sunshine, write down the light text, in communion with the snow day, listening to gurgling miss in the lonely time. Through the window of heart gentle sunlight irradiation, with graceful heart, split a tree Samuume in full bloom, let the dream time is still the Jian Xia Mo green, flowers.

Over time this shallow, at the fingertips of melted snowflakes into the cool, gentle, despite years of buckle window, memory is always warm. A cup of tea, a cup of wine, all the thoughts, let touched take root in the heart, bloom a beautiful flower of life, an warm skyline.

Let thousand wisp emotions into a dream world where in the warm, lightly, with words in love, a world of fireworks fleeting tenderness Amethyst earrings.

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