Thanks to Flipkart, India now a battleground for Walmart vs Amazon

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While co-founders of Flipkart reportedly willing to sell their stakes and may take an exit from the company, Google's entry in the Flipkart-Walmart deal will take on Amazon's supremacy in India.

New Delhi, May 3 Global retail giant Walmart is inching close to sealing the deal to buy a majority stake in Flipkart for as much as United States dollars 12 billion, even though rival Amazon is still jostling to turn the deal in its favour, sources said.

Investors, including Shekhar Kirani, Deep Nishar, and IDG Ventures, as also several pension funds are reported to have exited Flipkart through the buyback at $169.31 per share, which pegs Flipkart's valuation at around $17.7 billion.

SoftBank will sell its 20%+ stake as part of the transaction, while Google-parent Alphabet is likely to participate in the investment.

The filing, which was sourced by data platform Paper.vc, claimed that the move will also help Flipkart convert itself into a private company under Singapore law and values the Bengaluru-based firm at a whopping $17.69 billion.

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It's increasingly looking like Walmart and its partners will beat Amazon to take over Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce giant.

The development assumes significance as USA retail giant Walmart is close to sealing its deal to acquire majority stake in Flipkart.

American department store Walmart may well be facing competition from Amazon in its bid for majority ownership of Flipkart, Amazon's biggest rival in India.

The newspaper report that Walmart wants Group CEO Binny Bansal and Krishnamurthy to have more crucial rules in the company.

Walmart shares closed 0.13 percent lower Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, while Amazon stocks closed higher by 2.39 percent on Nasdaq.

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Flipkart and Alphabet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sources said all major investors in Flipkart, including SoftBank of Japan, are more or less on board with Walmart's purchase and the deal could be announced in the coming days.

Amazon has already been aggressively expanding in the country on its own.

The talks with Walmart for what could be its largest acquisition to date are still ongoing, and a deal is expected to be clinched soon, two people told Reuters on Wednesday.

As part of the Walmart deal, Flipkart's existing shareholders Tencent Holdings Ltd., South Africa's Naspers Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. are expected to retain small stakes, the people said.

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