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Walmart in talks to buy 40% in Flipkart; due diligence to start next week

Flipkart would be valued at more than the $12 billion figure



Inc is in talks to purchase a stake of more than 40 per cent in Indian firm Flipkart, a direct challenge to com in Asia’s third-largest economy, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

In what would be one of its biggest overseas deals, the retailer is looking at buying new and existing shares in and due diligence is likely to begin as early as next week, the sources said. They declined to be named as the talks were private.

Terms under discussion were not immediately available, but would be valued at more than the $12 billion (Rs 771.72 billion) figure given when Japan’s SoftBank Group’ took roughly a fifth of the firm last year for $2.5 billion (Rs 160.775 billion), they added.


A spokesman for said the company did not comment on rumours or speculation. An India-based representative for also declined to comment. A deal with would give much needed muscle in its fight against Amazon, which has committed to investing $5 billion (Rs 312.55 billion) in India as it expands aggressively, including into online grocery deliveries.

For Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, a deal would open a new front in its efforts to take on Amazon, giving the world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer access to an market that has estimated will rapidly grow to be worth $200 billion in a decade.

It would be part of a huge push that has seen acquire a slew of start-ups, including paying roughly $3 billion for Last month, it also said it was partnering with Japan's Rakuten Inc in online grocery deliveries. “As large as they are, has eaten away a significant chunk of their revenues and I think... they view India as the largest market possibly for this (taking on Amazon),” one of the sources said.

has for years tried to enter India but has remained confined to a 'cash-and-carry' wholesale business amid tough restrictions on foreign investment. It currently operates 21 such stores in India. Existing investors in the also include hedge fund Tiger Global Management, China's Tencent Holdings, and software giant Microsoft Corp.

First Published: Fri, February 16 2018. 23:58 IST