Continuing an exceptionally thrilling day of corporations buying other corporations, Walmart has countered Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods with its own plan to purchase men's retailer Bonobos for $310 million in cash. You may think that the $5.5 trillion U.S. retail industry has room for everyone to share, but Amazon and Walmart look ready to fight for every last morsel.
For the transaction, Citi is serving as financial adviser to Bonobos, with Fenwick & West LLP acting as its legal adviser, while Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Hogan Lovells are serving as legal advisers to Walmart.
Admittedly, today's most mind-blowing acquisition news is that Amazon is purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, furthering what seems like its mission to take over every aspect of consumers' lives. In a statement, Wal-Mart said the Bonobos deal is part of this broader e-commerce strategy.
Customers expressed their dismay on social media, calling the potential acquisition "brand suicide" and threatening to never shop at Bonobos again if it's acquired by Walmart.
Bentonville, Ark. -based Walmart operates 11,723 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries, and ecommerce websites in 11 countries. The company acquired Jet.com, widely seen as a potential Amazon challenger, with its same-day delivery capabilities to a younger, higher-income customer bae, for $3 billion in cash and another $300 million in stock a year ago.
Bonobos was founded by Stanford graduates Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn, who is now the company's CEO. Now, he says the company can be "transparent" about what will happen - that product quality, design, and customer service will remain unchanged.
Big Picture: Walmart has been expanding its online offerings to keep up with Amazon.com, buying clothing company Bonobos on Friday. The ShoeBuy acquisition was about $70 million, and Moosejaw was purchased for about $51 million.
Bononos, a men's clothing brand, launched online in 2007 and quickly expanded offline to open Bonobos Guideshop stores and gained a partnership with Nordstrom Inc. Wal-Mart reported its USA e-commerce sales jumped 63 percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, but much of the growth was because of the two-day free shipping program and other initiatives introduced by Lore.
But after sitting down with the teams from Walmart and Jet.com and hearing their vision for Bonobos, "my mind exploded", Dunn wrote.