Meal-kit delivery company Blue Apron is set to be acquired by UK-based direct-to-consumer business Wonder Group for around $103m.

Nasdaq-listed Blue Apron shareholders are being offered $13 a share by the food delivery company in a transaction that is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023. US-based FreshRealm, a ready-meals supplier to the retail channel, has agreed to sell its 16.5% stake in Blue Apron as part of the deal.

“Wonder plans to continue Blue Apron’s current operations serving customers nationwide under the Blue Apron brand, with expected new synergies between consumer-facing apps and delivery logistics,” according to a statement from loss-making Blue Apron.

“The combination is expected to enhance both companies’ abilities to deliver chef-curated meals with high-quality ingredients to more customers across the country.”

Blue Apron transferred its listing from the New York Stock Exchange in September to Nasdaq. The company, founded in 2012, released its second-quarter results in August for the period to 30 June, showing net losses widened to $61.9m from a $23.3m loss in the corresponding three months a year earlier.

In the year to 31 December, Blue Apron also delivered a loss of $109.7m, compared to a $88.4m loss in the previous 12 months. That was based on revenue of $458.5m, down 3% from a year earlier.

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By GlobalData

Revenue for the second quarter was $106.2m, a decline of 14%. Blue Apron posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $2.6m, narrowing from a corresponding loss of $16.2m.

The shares rallied upon the announcement of the Wonder Group deal on Friday (29 September), climbing more than 100% to $12.88.

Blue Apron president and CEO Linda Findley, who replaced Brad Dickerson in 2019, said in the statement. “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.

“Further, the transaction delivers immediate and certain value for Blue Apron stockholders at a significant premium over recent trading prices.”

Wonder Group was set up by entrepreneur Marc Lore and underwent a management buyout in 2021. He is currently chairman and CEO of the £300m ($365.9m) turnover business, which Lore described as “creating the mealtime super app, serving a broad range of occasions that feature cuisines from some of the world’s best chefs and restaurants”.

Lore added: “When the opportunity presented itself to unite with Blue Apron, pioneers in the meal-kit industry, we knew it would accelerate our strategic position, create immediate opportunities for synergy and most importantly, enable us to further delight customers by expanding the ways you can access and experience Wonder.”