Walmart Is Purchasing Flipkart, Says SoftBank CEO: Report



US-based Walmart is purchasing Flipkart, news agency Reuters cited Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japan-based SoftBank, as saying. The Walmart-Flipkart deal was sealed on Tuesday night (Japan Time), Mr Son 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 biggest acquisition, news agency Reuters had reported earlier. Google parent Alphabet Inc is likely to partner Walmart in the deal. Walmart is likely to own a roughly 60 per cent stake, while Alphabet will get about 15 per cent ownership of Flipkart, the report said, citing sources.

Here are 10 things to know: 

  1. Flipkart was founded in 2007 in Bengaluru by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, former employees of Amazon. 
  2. The first billion-dollar Indian e-commerce company, Flipkart, sells 8 million products across 80-plus categories. It has 100 million registered users. 
  3. Japan's SoftBank Group Corp owns a fifth of Flipkart through its Vision Fund. Other major investors in Flipkart include Tiger Global, Naspers and Accel while the Bansals own just over 5 per cent each of the company, according to data from business intelligence platform paper.vc. 
  4. Last year, 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. 
  5. India's e-commerce market is 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. 
  6. Flipkart controls nearly 40 per cent of India's online retail market, according to estimates by researcher Forrester. 
  7. Flipkart, which is competing with Amazon.com Inc for market share in India's e-commerce market, gained online fashion market dominance with the 2014 acquisition of Myntra, which subsequently bought rival Jabong. 
  8. Meanwhile, Amazon - Flipkart's biggest rival in India - has committed to invest over $5 billion in India. Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos told shareholders in a recent letter that Amazon India is the fastest growing marketplace in the country. He said Amazon added more members to its Prime loyalty programme in India in its first year, than any previous geography in Amazon's history. 
  9. For Walmart, the Flipkart deal will deliver a big advantage in terms of presence in the Indian e-commerce market. Flipkart will benefit from deep pockets of Walmart as well as the US retail giant's decades of retailing expertise in skills from logistics to marketing. 
  10. India is the next big potential prize for global retailers after the US and China, where foreign retailers have made little progress against Alibaba Group Holding. (With Agency Inputs) 
Source - NDTV

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