US retail giant Walmart could reach a deal to buy a majority stake in Indian e-commerce player Flipkart for nothing less than $12 billion and an agreement could be inked within a fortnight, according to media reports.
According to Bloomberg, all major stakeholders including Tiger Global Management and Japan's SoftBank Group are keen on a deal with Walmart. It was earlier reported that the Japanese conglomerate, which owns roughly one-fifth of Flipkart via its Vision Fund, was holding out for a better price.
Walmart is likely to bag around a 60 percent to 80 percent stake in Flipkart, valuing the Indian e-commerce player at about $20 billion at the upper-end, Bloomberg quoted unnamed people familiar with the development as saying.
A report in The Economic Times, quoted an unnamed source as saying that Walmart could end up buying anywhere between 51 percent and 86 percent of Flipkart.
"While WalMart has offered to buy the entire stake held by all these shareholders, it is not final if all of them will agree to sell their entire stakes. The deal should be signed off next week and will probably take at least another three months to close the deal,” an unnamed source familiar with the development was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal will step down after the deal.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and known for its superstores, has completed its due diligence on Flipkart and has proposed to buy a majority stake in the Indian firm.
A deal will fuel Walmart’s planned battle with Amazon.com in India. Both firms hope to garner a bigger share of the country's e-commerce market, which Morgan Stanley estimates will be worth as much as $200 billion in a decade.
Separately, Walmart has for years tried to enter the retail market in India, valued at $672 billion according to a 2017 CARE Ratings estimate. However, the American firm has been confined to a ‘cash-and-carry’ wholesale business here, amid tough restrictions on foreign investment. It currently operates 21 such stores in India.
With inputs from Reuters
Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 13:57 PM