US-based company Walmart has purchased India’s No-1 E-commerce company Flipkart, was founded in 2007 in Bengaluru by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, former employees of Amazon. Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japan-based SoftBank, as said. The Walmart-Flipkart deal was locked on Tuesday night, Masayoshi said on a conference call after SoftBank reported earnings, adding that its investment in the Indian online marketplace had almost doubled. Sources have previously told the agency that SoftBank would completely sell its shares in Flipkart to Walmart. The deal, likely to value Flipkart roughly at $18-20 billion, is likely to be the US retail giant’s most significant acquisition. Google parent Alphabet Inc is likely to partner Walmart in the deal. Walmart is likely to own roughly 60 percent of the total stake, while Parent Alphabet will get about 15 percent ownership of Flipkart, the report said, citing sources.
The first billion-dollar Indian e-commerce company, Flipkart, sells 8 million products across 80-plus categories. It has 100 million registered users. In 2017, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, previously an executive in Flipkart investor Tiger Global, took over as Flipkart CEO. Binny Bansal became CEO of the whole group, which includes fashion portals Myntra-Jabong, payments unit PhonePe and logistics firm Ekart. India’s e-commerce business has been tipped to grow to $200 billion in a decade, according to global financial services company Morgan Stanley, as cheap mobile data makes online shopping increasingly accessible.
Walmart had entered India in 2009 through a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and later took full control of that venture in 2013. It currently operates about 20 wholesale stores in the country that serve small businesses. Walmart is expected to acquire around 70 percent of the Indian e-tailer deal analysts said would be the world’s biggest e-commerce acquisition and pit Walmart against rival Amazon in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
Amazon has been expanding aggressively since it entered the Indian market in 2013. There have been months of consideration that Walmart was planning to buy Flipkart, but both have repeatedly declined to comment on the talks. Last week, Flipkart’s board agreed to sell up to 75 percent of the company to a Walmart-led group.