Amazon makes formal bid to buy 60% stake in Flipkart

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Walmart Inc., the world's largest retailer, is in final negotiations to buy a majority stake in Flipkart Ltd even as a rival combination of Flipkart and Amazon looks increasingly unlikely, three people familiar with the matter said.

As reports of Flipkart's imminent acquisition by Walmart and also Amazon gather steam, global mutual funds are joining the ranks in their assessment and valuation of India's e-commerce poster boy. Reports already state that US-based retail giant Walmart is looking to buy a significant stake in the Indian e-commerce company.

However, major shareholders such as Tiger Global and SoftBank are not expected to sell any shares in the latest buyback process.

USA online retail giant Amazon has made a formal offer to buy a 60 per cent stake in India's leading e-commerce marketplace Flipkart, according to a report by CNBC TV18 which cited sources.

Interestingly, Lore and the co-founders of Flipkart - Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal - have all worked for Amazon in the past.

According to Quartz, which cited data from 7Park Data, as of April, Amazon's market share in India stood at 44%, down from 50% at the start of the year, but still ahead of Flipkart, which controls about 40% of the market, Quartz reported. Flipkart is registered as a public company in Singapore, and needs to reduce the number of its shareholders to below 50 to be recognised as a private limited company in the Southeast Asian country, said the report.

Flipkart didn't respond to an email seeking comment.

Walmart has agreed to invest around $12 billion to pick up around 60 per cent stake in Flipkart, in a mix of primary and secondary deals.

If it wins the deal, Walmart would purchase both new and existing Flipkart shares, with the new shares expected to set Flipkart's value at a minimum of $18 billion, Reuters noted.

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