Virtual food hall company Wonder, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore, is set to acquire meal kit company Blue Apron in a deal worth $103 million. This strategic move aims to create a robust platform for mealtime experiences, combining Wonder’s restaurant delivery concept with Blue Apron’s meal kit service.
Blue Apron will continue to operate under its existing brand but anticipates new synergies between their respective mobile apps and delivery logistics. Blue Apron CEO Linda Findley expressed enthusiasm for the deal, saying, “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.”
Wonder, although still in startup mode, envisions itself as a “super app for mealtime” with ambitious plans to have 7,000 outlets across the United States offering made-to-order food, meal kits, recipes, and groceries.
The acquisition aligns with Wonder’s strategic goals. Lore stated, “At-home meals play a key role in this vision and have been on our strategic roadmap since the beginning.” This move comes after Blue Apron transitioned to an “asset-light” model by selling its production and fulfillment operation to FreshRealm in May.
Wonder will acquire Blue Apron at $13 per share, offering a 137% premium to its Thursday share price and a 77% premium to its 30-day volume-weighted average price, valuing the deal at approximately $103 million.
Blue Apron, a pioneer in meal kit delivery, has faced challenges since going public in 2017, including layoffs, a decline in customer numbers, and a drop in share price. However, Lore’s extensive experience in direct-to-consumer retail, having founded companies like Diapers.com and Jet.com, positions Wonder to leverage his expertise in its expansion plans.