Flipkart-Walmart deal: Co-founder Sachin Bansal to offload his 5.5% stake in firm after US retail giant's investment

The Walmart investment in Flipkart will see its first casualty in co-founder and executive chairman 36-year-old Sachin Bansal moving out of India's homegrown e-commerce giant selling all his 5.5 percent stake.

According to a report in the Economic Times, Sachin will sell all his stake in Flipkart, post the Walmart investment. There have been reports about Sachin exiting Flipkart after the Walmart deal is sealed.

Flipkart was founded in 2007 by Sachin and 35-year-old Binny Bansal, former employees at Amazon.  Like their US rival, the Bansals began by selling books.

Walmart was in advanced talks to acquire 51 percent or more of the e-commerce player for $10 billion to $12 billion, valuing Flipkart at some $18 billion to $20 billion.

Flipkart Group Chief Executive Binny Bansal held a closed-door meeting with the firm’s top leadership at its Bengaluru headquarters on Monday, and sources said that Bansal said that Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal would exit after the Walmart deal is sealed.

Flipkart last year named Kalyan Krishnamurthy, a former executive of investor U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global Management, as the head of its core business, while Binny Bansal took the broader strategic role of group CEO. Sachin Bansal remained as executive chairman.

The Flipkart Group includes fashion portals Myntra-Jabong, payments unit PhonePe and logistics firm Ekart.

Sachin Bansal, co-founder, Flipkart. File photo. CNBC

Sachin Bansal, co-founder, Flipkart. File photo. CNBC

Walmart is expected to get three board seats at Flipkart and will also have a say in the appointments of the group’s finance, legal and compliance heads, sources said to Reuters.

Krishnamurthy and Binny Bansal will remain in their current roles after the deal, the two sources said, a report said.

Early Flipkart investors Tiger Global and venture fund Accel will sell a majority of their stakes, one of the sources said.

Japan’s SoftBank Group which owns roughly a fifth of Flipkart through its Vision Fund, is expected to completely exit, Reuters has previously reported.

The Vision Fund had invested close to $2.5 billion in Flipkart via primary and secondary share purchases last year.

Flipkart will hold a townhall for employees on Friday, with Walmart CEO Doug McMillon likely to attend, one of the sources said. Other top Walmart executives will also be in India for the announcement, the other source added.

A third source said Flipkart had scheduled multiple batches of townhall meetings with employees on Friday, sparking chatter within the ranks that a deal is likely imminent.

Walmart declined to comment. Flipkart, Alphabet, Tiger Global and Accel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

-- With inputs from Reuters


Updated Date: May 08, 2018 10:20 AM

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