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Wal-Mart to make $3 billion Jet.com deal Monday

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will reportedly announce Monday its $3 billion purchase of online retailer Jet.com.

As part of the deal — one of the largest-ever acquisitions of an e-commerce company — Jet.com co-founder and CEO Marc Lore will lead Wal-Mart’s online division for at least two years, Bloomberg News reported Saturday.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, hopes the purchase can help it close the e-commerce gap with rival Amazon.com. Wal-Mart made only about $14 billion in online sales in 2015, compared with about $99 billion for Amazon, and Wal-Mart’s online growth rate has fallen for five consecutive quarters.

Jet.com has existed for less than two years, but has seen astronomical growth — its sales in July 2016 were up 168% from August 2015. Wal-Mart’s online sales for the same period were up only 30%, according to data from Slice Intelligence. Jet.com has accumulated more than $500 million in venture funding, and is valued around $1.6 billion.

Key components of the deal would include Jet.com’s proprietary technology, its extensive customer and supplier lists, and Lore’s expertise. Lore is highly regarded in the e-commerce world, and previously founded the parent company of Diapers.com, which he sold to Amazon in 2011 for $550 million. Lore then worked at Amazon for about two years before founding Jet.com.

The potential deal, which was first reported Wednesday, has excited some Wal-Mart analysts and investors. “[W]e think that a combination of Wal-Mart’s best-in-class logistics and significant buying power ($482 billion in revenue in 2015) and Jet.com’s high-growth retail model would make the combined business a formidable competitor,” Pacific Crest analysts wrote in a Wednesday note. Wal-Mart shares ended the week up more than 1%.

Source: Market Watch

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