Wednesday is one of the biggest days in the history of Whole Foods Market Inc., a pioneer among natural and organic grocery stores, a trending-setting force in the consumer goods and agriculture ecosystems and Austin’s largest public company.

That is when shareholders are set to vote on the pending $13.7 billion buyout by Inc., a move already sending shockwaves through the food, technology and retail sectors. The meeting is set for 8:30 a.m. at the company’s headquarters, at 550 Bowie Street in downtown Austin.

Whole Foods agreed in June to the buyout at a price of $42 per share— a 27 percent premium compared with its price before the deal was announced. The company, founded in Austin in 1980, has struggled with increased competition from traditional grocery chains, which has led to eight-straight quarters of declines in comparable-store sales.

Amazon’s fresh food delivery service has been expanded across London to offer deliveries to almost 130 different post codes.

Amazon has billions of dollars in cash on hand, but it raised $16 billion of debt to finance the acquisition.

If shareholders OK the merger, the last major roadblock to consumation of the deal is regulatory approval.

In addition to a vote on the merger, shareholders will be tasked Wednesday with voting on compensation for top Whole Foods executives in relation to the deal.


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