Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Indian e-commerce market sees M&A deals worth $2.1 billion in 2017

Indian e-commerce market sees M&A deals worth $2.1 billion in 2017

Bansal is also ready to quit the Flipkart board as the American retail giant plans to invest Dollars 12-15 billion (over Rs 88,000 crore) in the e-tailer, valuing it at USD 20 billion (about 1.37 lakh crore), reports the Times of India citing sources. It is believed that the deal will see Flipkart's valuation rise as much as 70 percent within a year.

New Delhi, May 8 United States e-tail giant Amazon has infused fresh capital to the tune of Rs 2,600 crore into its India unit, Amazon Seller Services, to strengthen the war-chest of the company against domestic rival Flipkart. As per reports, Flipkart's co-founder will sell his 5.5% stake in the company to Walmart, resulting in around $1 billion.

One of the persons said possible scrutiny from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as well as risks related to sharing competitive data as part of due diligence were some of the reasons for Flipkart investors and management favouring a deal with Walmart and not Amazon, even though the rival's bid was slightly higher. Other top Walmart executives will also be in India for the announcement.

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Also under the proposal, Flipkart investor Softbank Group Corp.is slated to sell its 20% stake for about $20 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

Walmart will likely purchase a 75 per cent stake of Indian ecommerce platform Flipkart, after the company approved an agreement of sale. The bank had acquired the shares from Flipkart via investment fund. Walmart will pay the bank approximately $20 billion. The investment will help accelerate Flipkart's innovation on behalf of customers and will underscore Walmart's commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India.

It's important to note that the moves not only strengthen Walmart globally, but give the company another foothold in the battle with Amazon and Alibaba for online dominance. Armed with a go-ahead from the Reserve Bank of India, it is preparing to make a big push into digital payments and compete with the likes of Paytm, Freecharge and Flipkart's payment business PhonePe.

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This will be the second time when Walmart and Google will offer a joint front to tackle the domination of Jeff Bezos-controlled Amazon in an online market place.

During FY17, Amazon Seller Services, which earns through commissions, advertisements and shipping fees, registered a growth of 41 percent with a revenue of $481 million (Rs 3,128 crore). He now holds 5.25 percent stake in Flipkart.

Walmart will likely use a mix of fresh debt and cash to finance the deal.

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Walmart is expected to pick up close to 55% - 60% stake in the deal and the balance 10% - 20% will be picked up by Alphabet Inc. The selling of products at deep discounts will hurt millions of traders including small retail shops and merchants. In 2013, it called off its joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, buying out Bharti's 50 per cent stake in the wholesale cash and carry business, while Bharti continued to run the front-end retail business EasyDay on its own.

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