Walmart close to buying its biggest online business ever

By RetailFOXBusiness

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Walmart is likely to reach a deal in buying a majority stake in India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart by the end of June, despite reports that Amazon was exploring a possible counter to snatch it up, according to a report.

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The deal would be the retail giant’s biggest acquisition of an online business ever, Reuters said, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The acquisition would also further enflame the company’s battle with Amazon – and now China’s Alibaba – which are both aggressively targeting India, whose online market of 1.3 billion people (mostly millennials) is expected to grow to $200 billion in 2026, according to research from Morgan Stanley.

Last week, Reuters reported that Walmart completed its due diligence on Flipkart and made a proposal to buy 51% or more of the company for between $10 billion to $12 billion. The retailer is said to be buying both new and existing Flipkart shares, with new shares expected to value the company around $18 billion, with existing ones at about $12 billion.

Japan’s Softbank Group, which already owns about one-fifth of Flipkart through its Vision Fund, is said to likely keep its shares due to the low price point being offered for the existing shares.

For Walmart, a company that already operates more than 20 stores in the country, the deal would finally push them from being confined to a “cash-and-carry” wholesale business to a dominate force online.

Neither Walmart or Flipkart returned FOX Business’ request for comment.