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Blue Apron stock surges 130% on news it is being sold

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Blue Apron shares soared more than 130% Friday after the once-hot meal kit delivery service announced it was being acquired.

Wonder Group, a food delivery startup led by former Walmart and Jet executive Marc Lore, is buying Blue Apron in a deal that gives shareholders $13 per share, valuing Blue Apron at $103 million — a far cry from its $2 billion valuation just six years ago. The per share purchase price is a 137% premium over Thursday’s closing price of $5.49.

Since Blue Apron went public in 2017, its fortunes have dwindled with a number of problems, including layoffs, failing to grow its customer base and competition from larger companies, such as Amazon and Kroger. A brief boost during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic did not last.

Wonder said in a press release that its acquisition of Blue Apron is “expected to create a leading platform for mealtime, enhancing mealtime with choice, flexibility and convenience through two exceptional brands.” The idea is to create a “mealtime super app” filled with cuisines from “some of the world’s best chefs and restaurants.”

Combining the two brands will “enhance both companies’ abilities to deliver chef-curated meals with high-quality ingredients to more customers across the country, solving for additional meal moments throughout the week,” it added.

The Blue Apron (APRN) name will continue to be used following the close of the transaction. Shares are down 44% for the year prior to Friday’s news.

In June, Blue Apron sold its assets, such as its fulfillment centers, to fellow meal company FreshRealm, giving it a $50 million cash infusion. That partnership will continue, according to Wonder.

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