Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Walmart acquires 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 Billion : Top developments

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son Says Walmart is purchasing Flipkart Walmart is dropping after announcing it's taking a majority stake in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart
Jan Cook | 11 May, 2018, 04:43

"We are delighted and humbled by the trust from our customers, to lead in India on things that matter to our customers in five years of our business, while continuing to launch innovative India-first initiatives as well as completely new offerings like Echo, Prime, Prime Video and Prime Music", the spokesperson added.

Walmart announced it had signed "definitive agreements" with Flipkart to purchase around 77% of the eCommerce business for £16 billion.

Walmart and Tencent are connected via more than just Flipkart. A year later, Kalyan Krishnamurthy was elevated to the position of CEO of Flipkart.

Amazon was also said to have put in an aggressive offer to buy 60 per cent of Flipkart but the board of the Indian firm is said to have favoured the Walmart offer. "This will provide them around 54 million active online buyers and a company with 40 percent of the Indian online retail market".

Flipkart and Amazon have been going head-to-head in a costly battle for domination of one of the fastest growing online retail markets since 2013.

Amazon is also investing significant money in marketing and promotions as the company looks to bring more consumers to its online shopping platform. It will, however, retain a 5% stake in Flipkart.

Walmart's acquisition changes that dynamic.

How does the Flipkart buyout help the Indian start-up ecosystem?

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"But the overall question of customer experience will be the key factor", Meena said.

Walmart's strength has always been its physical stores. But local regulations on foreign retailers hampered plans for Walmart's massive expansion.

Up until yesterday, the country's e-commerce battlefield witnessed the intense competition between Amazon, an American giant and India's own Flipkart. The company, according to Bloomberg reports, had wiped off half of the US$6.1 billion injected into it since inception. The whole operation involves 100,000 sellers and 8 million shipments a month. This will make Walmart be a part of local deals across India.

"This investment is of enormous importance for India and will help fuel our ambition to deepen our connection with buyers and sellers and to create the next wave of retail in India", said Binny Bansal, Flipkart's co-founder and group CEO.

Walmart runs 21 Best Price wholesale stores in the country that sell everything from fast-moving consumer goods to furniture to other retailers and institutions.

The move fits perfectly with Walmart's global growth plan. "Sadly my work here is done and after 10 years, it's time to hand over the baton and move on from Flipkart. The sale of ASDA in the United Kingdom also meant that Walmart needed to identify a new growth avenue - and long frustrated by the byzantine laws governing foreign investment in Indian retail, growing via bricks and mortar retail would have been too complex and slow".

Walmart has finally acquired major stakes in Flipkart in what is being hailed as the world's biggest e-commerce deal, valued around $18-20bn.

"You're looking up the runway, and the runway in India is about as limitless as there is anywhere", O'Shea said.

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