Walmart-Flipkart deal likely to get sealed as early as next week

Walmart

A single lead comes with multiple speculations in media. And if the latest speculation is to be believed then Walmart is acquiring 51 per cent stake in Flipkart as early as next week.

A lot of talks already have been going on since the Walmart expressed a strong interest in Amazon– an arch-rival, in one of the world’s fledgling Internet economies.

For a time being, let’s forget all the previous coverage on the proposed deal and focus on the latest report by Reuters which said that the US-based retailer could seal Flipkart deal in a week time to buy a controlling stake in the Indian e-commerce giant.

So far, SoftBank which owns one-fifth of the Bengaluru-based marketplace has been one of the major hurdles between the Walmart-Flipkart deal. Now the deal appears likely as the Japanese tech titan has given a green signal to it.

However, it’s not clear whether SoftBank would be selling some of its shares in Flipkart or not.

Earlier, a report had surfaced about the due diligence on Flipkart by US retailer, that has proposed to acquire a little over half of the Indian e-commerce poster child for between $10 billion to $12 billion.

Variation in the valuation of Flipkart is a matter of concern. Now the latest report says it could not be below than $18 billion.

One of the anonymous sources quoted by Reuters said that the deal was close, but things could still drag into the first week of May.

The source also revealed that Flipkart’s founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, who own little over 5 per cent each also likely to part sell their stakes. Recently, it was also reported that Walmart is likely to retain Flipkart’s top executives, including chief executive officer (CEO) Kalyan Krishnamurthy.

Earlier it was hinted of the acquisition deal might get materialised by June but the climax of the 3-month long story is yet to settle.

Meanwhile, Amazon had offered breakup fee of around $2 billion to Flipkart to turn the deal in its favour. Of late, some reports also surfaced hinting that eBay might delay the acquisition bid.

Apart from the founders, the current Flipkart sharing holding structures says, SoftBank and Tiger Global own little more than 20 per cent, Naspers holds nearly 13 percent stake while Accel has about 6.4 percent shareholding in the company.

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