Amazon.com is likely to make an offer to buy Bangalore-based Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart which is already in tie-up talks with Walmart for a majority stake sale.
People familiar with the matter, who decided to remain unidentified, cited that the deal with Amazon is less likely to go through and the deal with Walmart stands more of a chance. According to the report, Walmart is closing in on buying 55 percent of Flipkart through a blend of primary and secondary share purchases that could bring the value of the company to $21 billion. Investors of Flipkart are expected to sell much or all of their shares. According to rumors, even SoftBank, one of Flipkart’ latest investors, is looking for a partial exit considering the value of its investment nearly doubled within the last few quarters.
If the deal between Walmart and Flipkart takes place, it will most likely pose a direct challenge to Amazon in Asia’s third-largest economy. Amazon has pledged to invest $5 billion in India in an attempt to expand into online grocery delivery.
Flipkart investors include IDG Ventures, Tiger Global, Naspers, and Accel Partners. Flipkart was founded in 2007 by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The company controls close to 40 percent of the Indian online retail market. The founders started by selling books and expanded quite rapidly. As of today, Flipkart competes with Amazon in most of the product categories.
If the deal between Walmart and Flipkart goes through, Walmart will be able to gain a footing in the Indian e-commerce industry. Flipkart will be able to add financial power and also strengthen their supply chain and develop efficiency in procurement and product assortment. Additionally, the deal will enhance them to form a joint force to compete against Amazon.
“As large as they (Walmart) are, Amazon has eaten away a significant chunk of their revenues and I think…they view India as the largest market possibly for this (taking on Amazon),” a source said, as mentioned in agency reports.
None of the involved parties have given any official comment on this as of now.