In a move seen as a precursor to United States retail giant Walmart acquiring a majority stake in Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce player has bought back shares worth $350 million from investors in its Singapore-based parent to regain private limited status in the country.
Besides the grouse of being left out of the loop on such a crucial transaction, the sellers also fear that Walmart may look at bringing in its own private labels via Flipkart to the Indian consumers, adding to competitive pressures.
The move, which has been termed one of the biggest acquisitions in the world's second-most populous country, and is the biggest ever by Walmart, would see the retail giant spend at least $14.6 billion (up to $16 billion) in a cash-and-stock buyout.
Finally, after a long discussion over the deal, Flipkart board has approved an agreement to sell 75 per cent equity to Walmart for $15 billion.
The battle for dominance on the Indian e-commerce market seems to be stepping up a notch: Amazon may be looking to buy a majority stake in Flipkart, trying to better Walmart which already started negociations with the Indian online retailer.
After months of negotiations, the U.S. global retail giant Walmart Inc has been able to strike a deal with Flipkart, India's most valuable startup. The deal may also see Flipkart founder and Executive Chairman Sachin Bansal exit the Bengaluru-based company, but nothing is clear on that matter as of now. As a part of the deal, Flipkart has bought back over 1.8 million shares worth more than $350 million from minority investors.
The TOIreport citing sources said Walmart is keen on retaining only one of the two founders. Interestingly, Amazon has also been in talks to acquire a majority stake in Flipkart, suggesting the USA company does not want Walmart to enter the Indian market. Walmartalso plans to develop a grocery marketplace using Flipkart.
Amazon has emerged as new contender for Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.
Walmart would maintain a focus on the grocery market, said the sources, suggesting that nearly 50% of Walmart's initial investment would be funneled into building a food and grocery supply chain.
Amazon, on its own, has committed investments to the tune of Dollars 5 billion for its operations in India.
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