Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Flipkart buys back shares worth $350, step closer to Walmart deal

Click here for enlarge Click here for enlarge
Jodi Jackson | 04 May, 2018, 14:15

Softbank now holds over 20% stake in Flipkart and this Walmart takeover will see them making $4 billion.

The rival company Amazon has also made a counter offer to buy 60 percent stake in Flipkart.

The Walmart-Flipkart deal has ruffled a lot of feathers but despite the turn out, the company's biggest investor, SoftBank, will be leaving the foray. The US retail conglomerate is tipped to spend at least $14.6 billion, and as much as $16 billion, in the cash-and-stock buyout of the Indian e-commerce company.

This could likely be the secondary valuation at which Walmart will invest in Flipkart. Sources close to the newspaper said Walmart was supposed to sign the term sheet for the deal nearly three weeks ago, but did not because SoftBank wanted Flipkart to wait until Amazon had put in its bid.

Meanwhile, Flipkart has bought back $350 million worth of shares from its investors as it seeks to convert its Singapore-incorporated company to a private limited firm.

Amazon has offered a US$2 billion breakup fee as part of its bid, the report said.

CEO Krishnamurthy is expected to continue in his role, but numerous reports have been pointing to the exit of one of the two founders, Sachin Bansal, who is now the executive chairman of the company. India-based website BGR.in reported cofounder Binny Bansal might remain in some capacity as Walmart wants to retain only one of the founders.

Emails sent to Flipkart and Walmart did not elicit any response.

The company's largest backers like New York-based Tiger Global, Japan's SoftBank, Accel Partners, Microsoft, South African media and internet group Naspers, and eBay did not participate in the buyback. Flipkart had then announced that it had cash in excess of United States dollars 4 billion on its balance sheet.

Walmart is now seeking a bigger stake than previously expected.

Although Sachin's exit from Flipkart looks imminent, Walmart is holding on to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the web retailer's present chief executive, TOI further said citing sources. Krishnamurthy, who took over as CEO from Binny in January last year, is seen to have turned around the e-commerce major after two sluggish years when it ceded market share to Amazon under the leadership of Sachin.

Alphabet Inc. may be contributing $3 billion to the investment.

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