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Wonder Group buying meal kit company Blue Apron for about $103 million

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Wonder Group is buying meal kit company Blue Apron for about $103 million as the company looks to enhance its offerings.

Wonder Group, which was founded by e-commerce mogul Marc Lore, began with vans that would deliver meals to residences, making the final preparations curbside. But the company faced push back from some residents concerned about the environmental impact of the idling vans and also dealt with cost concerns. It has since started opening some stores, moving away from the van delivery service.

Blue Apron has built itself into a known name in the meal kit sector, but it’s faced increased competition over the years from other meal kit businesses, like Hello Fresh, as well as restaurant and grocery delivery services and at home chefs.

In 2019, two years after its initial public offering, the New York-based company was faced with a potential delisting from the New York Stock Exchange because of its faltering stock price. Blue Apron announced in 2020 that it was considering selling itself, as it was losing customers and revenue was declining.

Lore said in a statement that the Blue Apron transaction will bolster the company’s mealtime app.

“At-home meals play a key role in this vision and have been on our strategic roadmap since the beginning,” he said.

Blue Apron shareholders will receive $13 per share for each share that they own.

The company’s stock soared 134% before the market open.

Wonder Group said Friday that once the transaction is complete, it plans to continue Blue Apron’s current operations serving customers nationwide under the Blue Apron brand.

“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,” Blue Apron President and CEO Linda Findley said in a statement.

Blue Apron’s board has unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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