Amazon in battle for biggest Indian rival Flipkart

Posted May 03, 2018

Thomson Reuters Amazon.com Inc has made a formal offer to buy a 60 percent stake in Indian online retailer Flipkart, CNBC-TV18 reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

Amazon wants to buy a 60% stake in India's Flipkart.

But Flipkart presents a massive business opportunity and that seems to be driving up valuations, aided by the fact that Walmart has also been stalking the company.

However, investors and the founders of Flipkart are reportedly more in favour of a deal with Walmart. According to CNBC-TV18, a deal with Walmart would see the United States retail giant gaining three or four seats on Flipkart's ten-member board.

Though Amazon's interest in Flipkart is unconfirmed and could just be sly negotiating tactics by either side, any show of insecurity would be surprising.

It has been suggested that Amazon was looking to make an offer itself in order to prevent the entry of Walmart into the Indian e-commerce market, but this appears to be the first firm report that the American e-commerce major has actually done so.

Previous reports have stated that Flipkart's founders and investors have been uncomfortable with selling their stake to Amazon given that the deal could face regulatory hurdles.

The Flipkart deal would also propel the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail behemoth to hasten its online expansion into remaining Asian markets, the sources added.

This news is coming when Walmart is investing a big amount in Flipkart to Buy 52% -86% share in Flipkart. A deal with Flipkart would step up the Walmart-Amazon battle for a bigger share of India's e-commerce marketthat is estimated will be worth $200 billion in a decade.

Amazon has been gaining ground quickly on Flipkart and it tried to derail the Walmart transaction at least in part because it will fortify the Indian rival.

It is likely to involve giving cash exits to some existing Flipkart investors as well, a source close to the matter said.

Led by Marc Lore, Jet's former CEO who now heads Walmart's e-commerce division, the retail giant bought e-commerce platform Shoebuy in January 2017, followed by outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw in February, women's wear site Modcloth in March, direct-to-consumer premium menswear brand Bonobos in June, and last-mile delivery startup Parcel in September.