Walmart closes in on $15bn Flipkart deal, reports

Walmart storeWalmart may have secured a key victory over Amazon in India, with reports surfacing that the board of Flipkart Online services, one of the fast-growing nation’s largest retail platforms, has approved a deal to sell 75 per cent of the company to the grocery giant for around US$15 billion.

Citing sources familiar with the deal Bloomberg has reported that the world’s largest retailer is closing in on an official offer for the Indian retailer after Amazon, which was also reportedly looking at the business, took itself out of the race.

The deal is expected to close in the next 10 days, although final terms remain uncertain. A Walmart deal is thought to be more appealing to regulators given Amazon’s position as the number two competitor in the market.

Should a transaction progress it would represent a significant international capital reallocation for US-based Walmart, which only last week agreed to offload most of its stake in UK supermarket chain Asda in a £10 billion merger with Sainsbury’s.

For Amazon, which has been investing heavily in its own Indian platform in recent years in a bid to cash in on growing consumption in the world’s second fastest growing economy, the deal represents a renewed competitive threat.

Flipkart is an online marketplace founded in 2007 by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, valued at around $20 billion after garnering investment from the likes of Ebay, Microsoft and Tencent.

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