Flipkart, India's Homegrown E-Commerce Leader, Is Poised for a Buyout

In this segment of the Motley Fool Money podcast, host Chris Hill is joined by Fool analysts Jason Moser, Andy Cross, and Ron Gross to talk about the big retail news in the world's second most populous nation. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) will acquire a large majority of Flipkart, in a deal that will also give Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) a minority stake. Left out in the cold is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), which will now face a much stronger e-commerce competitor in India.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on May 4, 2018.

Chris Hill: Let's move on to e-commerce, specifically the battle for Flipkart, which is one of the leading e-commerce companies in India. As we came into the studio, there were multiple reports that Walmart is finalizing a deal to take majority ownership of Flipkart. Google's parent company, Alphabet, is also reportedly participating in this deal. Amazon was bidding as well, Andy. But at the moment, it looks like Walmart is about to gain a nice share of the e-commerce pie in one of the biggest markets in the world.

Andy Cross: Yeah, Chris. And the Alphabet connection may have put this over the edge for Walmart, as of right now, at least. They're buying 75%. It values Flipkart at about $20 billion. That's up from where it was valued, apparently at $12 billion last year. India is at 1.3 billion people. Probably around 500 million of those are online. So, the growth opportunity for this market is just huge. And as we know, Walmart needs to continue to build out their e-commerce solutions around the globe, and they see this as a key component to that philosophy.

Jason Moser: Yeah. I think, to Andy's point there, India is obviously huge. I think, quarter in and quarter out, so many questions of China and capitalizing on the opportunity there, and it seems like India is one that was overlooked for so long. We saw in Amazon's shareholder letter this year from Jeff Bezos, India got its own bullet point. Obviously, a very big point of focus for the company, and that's because of the size of the population. You're also looking at a country right now where GDP per capita is around $1,800 or so. No, that's not high at all, Chris, but that's the point. It is the opportunity for growth there. There's nowhere to go but up for that number.

Cross: You know, it was founded by two gentlemen named Bansal who are not related. Sachin and Binny. They're not related. They met in college. And they're young, they're in their mid-30s. Apparently, they will continue to be able to be tied to Flipkart. That might have not happened with Amazon. Also, Amazon is such a big player in India, as Jason mentioned, that there might be regulatory concerns if Amazon was to be the winner for the Flipkart bidding war.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Andy Cross has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Chris Hill owns shares of Amazon. Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Ron Gross owns shares of Alphabet (C shares) and Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.