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Walmart plans to buy 15-20% stake in Indian e-commerce major Flipkart


The e-commerce battle between Amazon and Flipkart is going to intensify as a new foreign investor – Walmart – is looking to make new investments in the Indian e-commerce major.

Walmart Stores Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, is in advance talks to acquire a significant minority stake in Flipkart and the deal could be finalised by March, according to ET.

The report added that Walmart may acquire 15-20 per cent stake in the Indian e-commerce company. The investment deal may also include both primary and secondary transactions, buying out existing shareholders.

However, both companies refused to make any comment and deemed the developments as market speculation.

Walmart, which works on an omni-channel approach, is exploring both the online and offline space. The world’s largest retailer, which already had offline presence, announced the acquisition of Jet.com, a 13-month-old e-commerce website, in August 2016. With this acquisition, Walmart’s aim was to create a force against the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon.

A delegation which visited Flipkart’s Bengaluru office early last week for discussion as part of the deal, also included Walmart ecommerce CEO Marc Lore, founder of Jet.com.

Walmart launched its first store in India in 2009 and has 21 Best Price modern wholesale stores in the country now.

In 2014, it launched its B2B online platform and entered the e-commerce segment.

The new development comes after SoftBank’s investment interest in Flipkart. According to the last report in November 2017, Softbank was offering to buy shares of Tiger Global, other investors as well as existing and former employees in the e-commerce company. The investment behemoth was offering to buy shares worth $1.4 billion, that roughly values the online marketplace in the range of $9-10 billion.

As part of the new investment, Tiger Global, Accel, IDG and Kalaari along with a few others, were to sell their shares to Softbank in a secondary round. The Japanese telecom and internet conglomerate had invested $1.4 billion in Flipkart in August.

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