Amazon offers to buy 60% stake in Flipkart: Report
02 May 2018
US online retail major Amazon.com Inc is reported to have made a formal offer to buy a 60 per cent stake in Indian online retailer Flipkart. Additionally, Amazon has offered to pay a $2 billion breakup fee if the deal for some reason does not go through, says a CNBC-TV18 report.
Citing sources, the report said the offer bring Amazon’s offer on par with Walmart Inc's bid for the e-commerce company.
The report follows reports of US retail giant Walmart’s $12 billion deal to acquire a 55 per cent stake in the Bengalure-based retailer, which is likely to be signed as early as next week.
Flipkart last raised around $2.5 billion in August, the round saw the entry of Japan's Softbank as an investor in the company. Flipkart had then announced that it had cash in excess of $4 billion on its balance sheet.
While it is being speculated that Walmart may retain the top management of the company after the acquisition goes through, reports also said that the two founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal are looking to sell their entire stake in the company.
Walmart has been on an acquisition spree to strengthen its online presence after it bought Amazon's competitor Jet.com for $3.3 billion in 2016.
Led by Marc Lore, Jet’s former CEO who now heads Walmart’s e-commerce division, the retail giant bought e-commerce platform Shoebuy in January 2017, followed by outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw in February, women's wear site Modcloth in March, direct-to-consumer premium menswear brand Bonobos in June, and last-mile delivery startup Parcel in September.
Interestingly, Lore and the co-founders of Flipkart - Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal - have all worked for Amazon in the past.
Talks of Amazon making a counterbid to pick up stake in Flipkart have been doing the rounds for a while now. Softbank, Flipkart’s main stakeholder, however, had some apprehensions over a deal with Amazon.
Tiger Global which controls around 20 per cent of Flipkart, Naspers which controls around 14 per cent and other smaller investors are all expected to gain full exits from the company post the deal. Softbank, the largest investor in the Indian company with around 25 per cent stake, is also expected to sell a big portion of its holding in the deal.