Walmart may put $ 3 bn more in Flipkart to Buy 85% stake

The Masayoshi Son-led, SoftBank group invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart in August last year through its $100 billion Vision Fund.
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Having conquered 77 percent of the Flipkart’s stake in $ 16 billion deal, Walmart may invest $3 billion more in the Indian e-commerce company, the world's largest retailer said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Walmart's additional share purchase, if made, will be at the same price at which it made the initial investment, the filing said. This could take Walmart's stake to over 85 per cent.

The price at which Walmart bought Flipkart stake has not been disclosed, and different tranches could have been purchased at different prices. Walmart's filing assumes significance at a time when Flipkart's key shareholder, Japanese internet, and telecoms giant, Soft-Bank, is undecided about the sale of its shares. SoftBank holds approximately 22 per cent in Flipkart. As TOI reported on May 12, Walmart and SoftBank are in talks to decide on a time to execute the share transaction at a predetermined price. The Masayoshi Son-led, SoftBank group invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart in August last year through its $100 billion Vision Fund.

The Masayoshi Sonled, SoftBank group invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart in August last year through its $100 billion Vision Fund.

Walmart is investing $2 billion (approximately Rs 134.78 crore) in cash and purchasing shares worth $14 billion (approximately Rs 944 crore) from Flipkart's existing shareholders, the SEC filing said. Walmart said it may appoint or replace the chief executive officer and other principal executives of the Flipkart group of companies, subject to certain consultation rights of the board and the founder. For now, ex-Tiger Global executive, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who steered Flipkart's turnaround since he returned to the e-tailer in middle of 2016, has been retained as the CEO. Binny Bansal, co-founder and group CEO, continues in his role while Sachin Bansal, co-founder and executive chairman decided to quit the company. Sources said both Krishnamurthy and Bansal have a two-year lock-in.

Flipkart may opt for an initial public offering after four years of closing the Walmart deal at a valuation no less than what was paid by Walmart. Flipkart board will have eight directors, down from ten. For at least two years two of the Walmart-appointed directors won't be affiliated with the company. The number of directors may be increased to nine any time. Walmart said the transaction to buy shares in Flipkart should close by March 9, 2019.

 
 
 
 
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