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Trade regulator CCI may suggest structural changes to Flipkart-Walmart deal

CCI might also take cues from a ruling in South Africa with respect to Walmart- Massmart deal, which was announced in 2010

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Walmar, Flipkart
Representative Image

regulator might recommend structural changes to the proposed USD 16-billion Walmart-deal to address possible competition concerns, according to officials.

The (CCI) might also take cues from a ruling in with respect to Walmart- deal, which was announced in 2010.

Last month, Inc announced acquisition of 77 per cent stake in for about USD 16 billion (Rs 1.05 lakh crore) in the largest deal.

The has approached the for approval, saying deal does not raise any competition concerns.

However, various trade organisations have opposed the deal.

While the is yet to take a call on the Walmart-deal, officials said the regulator might order certain structural changes in the proposed transaction to address possible competition concerns.

In response to a query that the CCI may order some structural changes in the deal with Flipkart and whether would be ready for making such changes for getting approval, said, "we have no comments".

Officials said the CCI might take a cue from the South African example and might even recommend setting up of a long term fund to modernise kiranas going forward besides supporting by SME (Small and Medium Enterprises).

The fund could work under the aegis of DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) along with Walmart representatives to build a robust Kiranas development programme wherein the US retailer provides knowledge and resources, they added.

In the case of the deal between Walmart and South African entity Massmart, it was approved by the However, it was challenged and later South Africa's gave its approval in 2011 for the merger subject to conditions proposed by the two

In a statement issued in May 2011, Walmart had said the tribunal has announced that deal can proceed to finality and has accepted the conditions proposed by the two

The conditions, included setting up of a "Rs100 million supplier development fund, no merger-related retrenchments for a period of two years...," as per the statement.

As per the notice submitted to the CCI, the acquisition of majority stake in Flipkart would be done through Holdings.

The proposed transaction would be effected pursuant to the share purchase agreement and the share issuance and acquisition agreement entered into on May 9 by and among Walmart's subsidiary and Flipkart, it added.

Mergers and acquisitions beyond a certain threshold require the approval of the CCI.

Last week, more than 100 organisations opposed the Walmart-Flipkart deal stating it would cause "irreversible damage" to small traders and endanger jobs for thousands.

Meanwhile, Walmart expects to close the USD 16 billion deal to acquire 77 per cent stake in Flipkart this year.

"In May 2018, the company announced it will pay approximately USD 16 billion in exchange for approximately 77 per cent of the outstanding shares of (Flipkart). The investment includes USD 2 billion of new equity funding.

"... closing is expected later this calendar year, and is subject to regulatory approval," it said in a filing to the (SEC) earlier this month.

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 19:09 IST