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Walmart buys controlling stake in Flipkart for $16 billion (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper III; Economics)

What is the deal?
Walmart Inc has agreed to pay $16 billion for a roughly 77% stake in Indian online shopping site Flipkart, the US retailer’s biggest foreign investment ever as it battles rival Inc in one of the world’s biggest emerging markets.

The remainder of the business will be held by some of Flipkart’s existing shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, Tiger Global Management LLC and Microsoft Corp, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal to exit company by selling his 5.5% stake to Walmart.

Key facts
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart and its partner in the deal, Google parent Alphabet Inc., are looking to buy up to three quarters of Flipkart. Walmart will look to own a roughly 60% stake, while Alphabet will get about 15% ownership of the online marketplace, sources added.

The deal is likely to value Flipkart at roughly $18 billion to $20 billion.

Indian media reported last week that Inc., which has been pouring billions of dollars into India to ship goods to shoppers faster, had made a formal offer to buy 60% of Flipkart but that Flipkart’s founders preferred Walmart.

Here are the key facts about Flipkart:

■ The company was founded in 2007 in Bengaluru by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The Bansals, who are not related, met in 2005 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. They are both former employees of Amazon.

■ Flipkart at first sold books, later expanding to sell music, movies, games, electronics and mobiles, the category that has driven growth. The first book it sold was John Wood’s Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. It launched logistics arm Ekart in 2010 and started the now popular cash-on-delivery service.

■ It opened its first office in Bengaluru in 2008 and opened offices in Delhi and Mumbai in 2009. Last month, Flipkart consolidated all its Bengaluru offices in one large campus.

■ In 2011, Flipkart domiciled to Singapore, as it looked to woo foreign investors to fund rapid growth.

■ Early investors New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global and US private-equity firm Accel Partners will sell a majority of their stakes, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

■ Other investors include the founders and Napsers Ltd, China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, eBay Inc, and Microsoft Corp.invested $1.4 billion last year.

■ Financials, according to filings sourced by business intelligence platform paper.

■ Flipkart Group’s consolidated loss attributable to owners of the company in fiscal 2017 widened to Rs8,770 crore, from Rs5,216 crore a year earlier.

■ Consolidated revenue jumped 29% to Rs19,855 crore in fiscal 2017.

(Adapted from Livemint)

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