Meal kit company Blue Apron, which sold its production and fufillment operation just a few months ago, has been purchased by fast-growing virtual food hall operator Wonder for $103 million.
The companies said Friday that the deal will create “a leading platform for mealtime” encompassing Wonder’s restaurant delivery concept and Blue Apron’s meal kit service.
The latter company will continue current operations as Blue Apron, but the two expect “new synergies” between their mobile apps and delivery logistics, according to a press release.
“Wonder and Blue Apron deliver high-quality, chef-curated meals, making this a great match to offer more incredible mealtime experiences,” Blue Apron CEO Linda Findley said in a statement. “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.”
It is a surprising deal given that Wonder is still in startup mode. It has four locations in New York and New Jersey and plans to reach 10 by the end of the year.
The company was founded in 2020 by Mark Lore, formerly Walmart's e-commerce CEO.
Lore envisions Wonder becoming a “super app for mealtime” with 7,000 outlets across the country selling made-to-order food as well as meal kits, recipes and even groceries.
Buying Blue Apron brings Wonder a little closer to that goal.
“At-home meals play a key role in this vision and have been on our strategic roadmap since the beginning,” Lore said in a statement.
Wonder made an offer for Blue Apron after the meal kit company sold its production and fulfillment operation to FreshRealm in May, shifting to an “asset-light” model.
“We knew it would accelerate our strategic position, create immediate opportunities for synergy and most importantly, enable us to further delight customers by expanding the ways you can access and experience Wonder,” Lore said. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Blue Apron to the Wonder platform and look forward to working with Linda and her exceptional team.”
Wonder will pay $13 per share for the publicly traded Blue Apron—a 137% premium to its Thursday share price and a 77% premium to its 30-day volume-weighted average price, valuing the deal at about $103 million.
When Blue Apron went public in 2017, it was reportedly valued at almost $2 billion.
Its stock price had declined by more than 91% over the past year. But Blue Apron's stock soared early Friday on the acquisition news, rising more than 100% in early trading.
This story originally appeared in WGB sister publication Restaurant Business Online. It has been modified slightly.