Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is set to acquire two-year-old online retailer Jet.com in what appears to be the largest-ever acquisition of an ecommerce company reports Recode. This is according to multiple sources familiar with the transaction.
Walmart-Jet.com acquisition details
The deal is expected to value Jet at approximately $3 billion. Some senior Jet executives, including co-founder and CEO Marc Lore, will have incentive bonuses on top of that – Lore stands to make as much as $750 million in the deal as he owns 25%.
Lore will continue to run Jet as well as Walmart’s US ecommerce operations after the acquisition closes.
Why is Walmart buying Jet?
The Jet acquisition is acknowledgement by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon that his company needs outside help if it’s going to ever close the giant gap with Amazon.
Walmart’s $14 billion in annual ecommerce sales is a fraction of Amazon’s $99 billion and is growing slower than the industry average.
Its growth rate has decelerated for five consecutive quarters.
Jet sells more than 12 million products ranging from TVs to toys to cereal, and even milk and other fresh groceries in some markets. A little less than a third of its sales volume comes from items that Jet stores in its own warehouses and sells directly to customers, an exec recently said.
Even with Walmart acquiring the strong Jet leadership team and proprietary technology, the deal still will be viewed as a rich, if not desperate one, by some industry observers.
A version of this article appeared in Recode on August 7. Read the full version here.