US-based retail giant Walmart is in discussion with Flipkart to buy stake in the e-commerce company, a deal that is expected to value the Indian firm at about $20 billion, sources close to the development said.
According to the sources, Walmart is in talks to buy shares from Flipkart and its investors. The contours of the deal, which is yet to reach a conclusive stage, are still being worked out.
The sources declined to be identified as the matters are private.
The deal, which is likely to be carried out in tranches, will include purchase of primary and secondary shares, one of the sources said.
Another person said, early investors like Tiger Global could look at a complete exit from the e-commerce company post the transaction.
Flipkart declined to comment, while a response could not be elicited from Tiger Global.
Last year, SoftBank Vision Fund had pumped in an estimated $2.5 billion in Flipkart. The Bengaluru-based firm had also raised funds from eBay, Tencent Holdings and Microsoft Corp last year.
The deal, if it goes through, would unlock the booming Indian e-commerce market for the world’s largest offline retailer. For Flipkart, it would provide more arsenal to go up against rival, Amazon in the Indian market.
Amazon and Flipkart are locked in an intense battle for leadership in the Indian market and have pumped in billions of dollars towards marketing and setting up infrastructure in the country.
There have been reports of Flipkart being in discussion with the rival for a possible acquisition, though there has been no formal announcement on that.
Industry watchers said a deal between Walmart and Flipkart is more likely since Flipkart-Amazon joining forces would face scrutiny by the competition watchdog, CCI in India.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.