Retail giant Wal-Mart is in final talks to purchase a majority stake in India's leading e-commerce retailer, Flipkart Online Services Pvt.
The deal, valued at more than $12B, could give Walmart as much as 80% of the company. The deal could close in the next two weeks, Bloomberg reports.
The Walmart deal would push Flipkart's valuation to around $20B, substantially up from its roughly $12B value in 2017. For Walmart, the stakes are huge, especially given that India is the world's second most populous country with 1.3 billion people.
Walmart has been in a battle with Amazon as consumers migrate to online shopping venues. And India is a vast prize for both retailers, Forrester Research Inc. senior forecast analyst Satish Meena told Bloomberg. “There isn't another country with this kind of an opportunity,” Meena said. “India may not be a big deal now, but it's the future opportunity that Walmart and Amazon are eyeing.”
Amazon has been expanding in India. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos committed more than $5B to the country, and the online retailer has been gaining ground on Flipkart. With Walmart's backing, Flipkart will have deeper pockets and access to the retail giant's logistics and marketing acumen, Bloomberg reports.