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Nexus rejects SoftBank's terms at Snapdeal board meet

Sources added that till now there's been no common term sheet on the table

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

People walk behind the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo

SoftBank, Tokyo-based telecom and internet multinational, spent close to three  hours on Tuesday convincing Venture Partners, an early-stage investor in company Snapdeal, to drop its veto against what would be the biggest consolidation in the sector. 

But the Snapdeal board meeting, which kept sector watchers hooked through the day, failed in its mission to get on board. Board members headed straight for lunch, without any sign of a deal with        

Masayoshi Son-led got veteran Kabir Misra, one of the seven members on Snapdeal board, to lead the talks. It wasn’t clear, however, if he flew down from his Silicon Valley office or attended the board meeting via video-conferencing. But even Misra, president and CEO of China and India Holdings, could not persuade to agree on the proposed terms for selling Snapdeal to its rival at the board meeting.

SoftBank, the largest investor in Snapdeal, has been trying to stitch an transaction between  Kunal Bahl-led company and leader for some months now. The Snapdeal board meeting, held at a plush hotel in the national capital region on Tuesday, was meant to get a go-ahead for the proposed deal.          

Without a nod from Nexus, cannot go for its planned merger of Snapdeal with The Bengaluru-based firm, founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, is slated to have its board meeting later this week, and Snapdeal would indeed be discussed there, an executive in the know said.      

Naren Gupta, co-founder of Nexus, has been the man holding up the deal unless his company got a payout of at least $80 million, sources said. Gupta did not budge from his stand even after a three-hour long board meeting.

Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Kalaari Capital (another early-stage investor) co-founder Vani Kola, independent director Akhil Gupta (who’s vice-chairman Bharti Enterprises), were all present during the proceeding. The latest addition to the Snapdeal board, Lydia Bly Jett of Group International, joined the meeting via tele-conferencing, it is learnt.

Sources said was playing hardball and was not ready to give up so soon even as did not agree on the payout amount that demanded.  Kalaari Capital had also vetoed the sale earlier, but agreed to SoftBank’s terms recently.

“It is purely a commercial fight. has made it clear that they want a bigger payout on a better valuation. Tuesday’s board meeting was all about convincing to change its stance from a nay to aye,’’ said a source close to the board. did not respond to an e-mail sent to the company.

Sources added that till now there’s been no common term sheet on the table.

For SoftBank, making agree today was important as after the board’s go ahead, it was supposed to take the deal to the board this week, sources said. The date of the next Snapdeal board meeting has still not been decided.

currently owns 33 per cent in Snapdeal, while has roughly a 10 per cent stake and Kalaari holds eight per cent in the company, according to documents filed with the Registrar of

Sources said that founders Bahl and Bansal want around $40 million each at a valuation of close to $2 billion, even as is trying to pin the deal at $1 billion or less. SoftBank’s peak valuation, last year, was around $6.5 billion.