Amazon to Acquire Whole Foods in $13.7 Billion Deal

It’s the E-commerce giant’s biggest transaction ever.

E-commerce giant Amazon is betting on groceries—to the tune of $13.7 billion—with its acquisition of Whole Foods, announced Friday.

It’s Amazon’s biggest transaction ever, with the Seattle-based company paying $42 a share for the organic groceries chain. Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey, an outspoken libertarian and free-market capitalist, will continue to run the company.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods has 30 locations in Massachusetts, including one in the former South End home of the Boston Herald. The acquisition comes as Amazon has made Boston a key battleground with its rivals, offering one-hour Prime delivery service and opening brick-and-mortar bookstores on both the North and South Shores.