Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods for $3.1 billion, the company announced on Thursday, making it one of the largest private companies to acquire a grocery retailer.
The acquisition is the latest move by Amazon to bolster its grocery business.
Last year, it bought grocery delivery company Grab to boost its grocery delivery capabilities, and last year it bought a majority stake in grocer Whole Foods.
Amazon has also been looking to expand its grocery offerings and said it would start selling Whole Foods groceries online this summer.
The deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, could also boost Amazon as it seeks to expand into the grocery sector, where it already has a foothold, and expand into health care, with the purchase of health insurance giant Anthem.
Amazon announced last year that it would acquire Whole Foods to expand delivery capabilities and to expand the size of its grocery operations.
It said it will begin selling groceries online in the summer.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said the grocery business will grow faster than the tech industry and he hopes to expand that market to include other types of businesses.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is one of a flurry of deals the company has made in recent years, including the purchase last year of the popular Whole Foods Market, a popular Whole Food delivery service, and a partnership last year with local grocer Safeway.
Whole Foods also has grown significantly in the last decade, with a market share of over a quarter of all U.S. grocery sales in the first half of 2017.
The deal with Amazon could give Amazon a foothold in the grocery market as well, as Whole Foods’ growing footprint could help the company expand its delivery capabilities.
With Amazon, Whole Foods would gain a growing presence in Amazon’s marketplace and also become a natural partner in the company’s efforts to expand grocery deliveries.
The grocery business is growing quickly and the company currently has no distribution partners outside of its own stores.
In addition to the Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon also is acquiring grocery delivery service Grab, which competes with AmazonFresh, as well as a food-delivery company called Gogogo.
Shares of Amazon rose 5 cents, or 1.3%, to $78.94 in afternoon trading.