The Walmart-Flipkart deal, which could potentially change the face of ecommerce in India could be concluded as early as next week, reports Reuters. Walmart is looking to purchase over 51% stake in Flipkart, which is currently India’s largest ecommerce player. The talks have been going on for months now and this deal is likely to value Flipkart at around $18 billion.
It was reported last week that while several key shareholders of Flipkart agreed to sell their stakes to Walmart, SoftBank was still negotiating for a better price and valuation. Walmart was offering to buy Softbank’s existing shares at a valuation of $12 billion, while Economic Times reported that the Japanese investor wants a price of around $15 billion-$17 billion.
With the deal set to close in a week, Reuters reports that Walmart and SoftBank could have reached a common ground. However, it is not clear is SoftBank has agreed to sell its shares.
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart, are expected to sell a part of their stake. Key shareholders such as Tiger Global, Naspers, Accel and Tencent have reportedly agreed to sell their stakes to Walmart. Currently, all the above shareholders together hold over 55% stake in Flipkart. So, if Walmart acquires the stakes as per the agreement it reached on, it could hold nearly 50% stake in Flipkart.
However, there is still no update on working out a deal with eBay. Recode reported last week that Walmart will also have to first work out a deal with eBay, which invested around $500 million in Flipkart for 5% stake last year as part of which, eBay signed a four-year exclusive commercial arrangement to partner with Flipkart at the time.
Walmart wants to take on its rival Amazon in India fast-growing ecommerce market and hence is aggressively pursuing the deal.
While this deal will give Flipkart a major boost over rival Amazon in India, Amazon is also eyeing Flipkart. FactorDaily reported last week that Amazon offered a ‘breakup fee’ of $1 billion-$2 billion, which shows its seriousness to buy the ecommerce major.