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Naspers sells stake in Flipkart

Walmart shares plunge on news of big investment in India

But today came news that Walmart had acquired Flipkart, a property in which Amazon had also been eyeing.

AccoriAcc to the data tracker, Euromonitor, Online sales in the world's second most-populous nation are growing about 35 percent a year, which is fueled more by a rising middle class and urbanization that present an attractive environment for e-commerce.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has committed more than US$5 billion to grabbing a big slice of India's e-commerce pie after failing to make inroads in China. The partnership will give Walmart a 77 percent stake in a rapidly growing market which is now comprised of 1.3 billion people.

Other investors - co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings, Tiger Global Management and Microsoft Corp - will stay invested.

Flipkart has raised Dollars 1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft, while SoftBank Vision Fund added USD 2.5 billion to its kitty past year. Jason Goldberg, senior vice president of commerce, at SapientRazorfish, a digital consulting agency, believes Amazon will now look to invest in or buy another local online retailer in India. Neither Walmart nor Flipkart would say how large Sachin Bansal's stake was, or to whom he sold it.

According to Walmart, both companies would remain separate brands and maintain their respective operating structures in India.

India is the top developing country for retail investment, on the strength of a growing economy and middle class, and a favorable regulatory environment, according to A.T. Kearney's Global Retail Development Index previous year - outpacing even China.

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"In FY20, as we look to accelerate growth in this important market, Walmart anticipates an EPS headwind in total of around Dollars 0.60 per share", Walmart said in a release.

The world's wealthiest family has just bestowed billionaire status on two of India's most feted tech entrepreneurs.

The Vision Fund had invested close to $2.5 billion in Flipkart via primary and secondary share purchases previous year. Walmart will pay approximately $16 billion for an initial stake purchase of 77% in Flipkart, formally known as Flipkart Private Limited.

While, co-founder Sachin Bansal will encash his 5.96 per cent stake in the company which will amount to around Dollars 1.23 billion.

On the synergies of the deal, McMillon said the Bengaluru-based company can take advantage of Walmart's resources supply chain and retailing expertise, while Flipkart could share its experience and expertise in building an entire ecosystem around online commerce business. It could also bring in "additional potential investors" while retaining a majority stake, chief financial officer Brett Biggs said on a conference call. An Amazon-Flipkart pact would have faced regulatory hurdles, because Amazon is already India's No. 2 online retailer. Flipkart was founded in 2007 by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who are not related.

Flipkart competes with Amazon across a range of produt categories. Walmart, which already has an online-offline business model in the USA, is expected to help Flipkart with their offline ambitions.

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