Flipkart shareholders barring SoftBank Group agree to sell stake to US retail giant Walmart

Key shareholders of Indian e-commerce player Flipkart have agreed to sell their stake to US retail giant Walmart, a media report quoted people aware of the development as saying.

According to The Economic Times, Walmart has reached an agreement on buying the stakes of Tiger Global Management, Accel, Naspers and Tencent Holdings. However, Japan’s SoftBank Group, which owns roughly one-fifth of Flipkart via its Vision Fund, is reportedly holding out for a better price.

Flipkart also counts eBay and Microsoft Corp among its investors.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Discussions with SoftBank are still ongoing… Most of the others have come aboard. In a deal like this, there are always ebbs and flows, but there is a time factor to consider as well,” the person aware of the development was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Last week, Reuters reported that Walmart Inc was likely to reach a deal to buy a majority stake in Flipkart by the end of June in what could be the US retail giant’s biggest acquisition of an online business.

Walmart has completed its due diligence on Flipkart and has made a proposal to buy 51 percent or more of the Indian company for between $10 billion to $12 billion.

A deal with Flipkart will fuel Walmart’s battle with Amazon.com, for a bigger share of India’s e-commerce market, which Morgan Stanley estimates will be worth $200 billion in a decade. Local media have reported that Amazon is exploring a possible counter offer for Flipkart.

Walmart will buy both new and existing Flipkart shares, with new shares expected to value the Bengaluru-based firm at least $18 billion, unnamed sources said. The price for existing shares would value the firm at about $12 billion

With inputs from Reuters

Updated Date: Apr 17, 2018 22:39 PM

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