Flipkart goes private with $350-mn share buy-back ahead of Walmart deal

Flipkart is reported to have bought back shares worth $350 million from investors in its Singapore-based parent to regain its private company status ahead of its sale to US retail giant Walmart Inc.

The Indian e-commerce major has paid a set of investors, including T Rowe Price and Valic, about $350 million to purchase 18,95,574 preference shares, in a transaction that closed on 27 April, a Paper.vc report said citing regulatory filings made by Flipkart in Singapore.
Investors, including Shekhar Kirani, Deep Nishar, and IDG Ventures, as also several pension funds are reported to have exited Flipkart through the buyback at $169.31 per share, which pegs Flipkart’s valuation at around $17.7 billion.
The company’s largest backers like New York-based Tiger Global, Japan’s SoftBank, Accel Partners, Microsoft, South African media and internet group Naspers, and eBay did not participate in the buyback. These investors, are reportedly expected to fully or partially sell their shares in Flipkart as Walmart makes its acquisition bid for the company.
In 2014, Flipkart, which is incorporated in Singapore, had in 2014 applied to Singapore’s registrar and regulator for conversion into a public company as it was a mandatory procedure for entities with more than 50 shareholders. Now, however, with a sale of the company near, it needed to become a private entity in Singapore to avoid regulatory hurdles.