Walmart will pay approximately $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77 percent in Flipkart to become the largest shareholder subject to regulatory approval.
The remainder 33% of the business will be held by some of Flipkart’s existing shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings, Tiger Global Management and Microsoft. While the immediate focus will be on serving customers and growing the business, Walmart supports Flipkart’s ambition to transition into a publicly-listed, majority-owned subsidiary in the future.
The investment will help accelerate Flipkart’s customer-focused mission to transform commerce in India through technology and underscores Walmart’s commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India, one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world.
Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer said, “As a company, we are transforming globally to meet and exceed the needs of customers and we look forward to working with Flipkart to grow in this critical market. We are also excited to be doing this with Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft, which will be key strategic and technology partners. We are confident this group will provide Flipkart with enhanced strategic and competitive advantage.”
Our investment will benefit India providing quality, affordable goods for customers, while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers and women entrepreneurs,” added Mcmillon.
Binny Bansal, Flipkart’s co-founder and group chief executive officer said, “While eCommerce is still a relatively small part of retail in India, we see great potential to grow. Walmart is the ideal partner for the next phase of our journey, and we look forward to working together in the years ahead to bring our strengths and learnings in retail and eCommerce to the fore.”
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 Flipkart recorded GMV of $7.5 billion and net sales of $4.6 billion representing more than 50 percent year-over-year growth in both cases.
With the investment, Flipkart will leverage Walmart’s omni-channel retail expertise, grocery and general merchandise supply-chain knowledge and financial strength, while Flipkart’s talent, technology, customer insights and agile and innovative culture will benefit Walmart in India and across the globe.
While Walmart and Flipkart will leverage the combined strengths of both companies, they will maintain distinct brands and operating structures. Currently, Walmart India operates 21 Best Price cash-and-carry stores and one fulfillment center in 19 cities across nine states in India, with more than 95 percent of sourcing coming from India, aiding suppliers, creating skilled jobs and contributing to local economies across the country. Krish Iyer, president and chief executive officer of Walmart India, will continue to lead that part of the business.
Judith McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Walmart International said, “This investment aligns with our strategy and our goal is to contribute to India’s success story, as we grow our business. Over the last 10 years, Flipkart has become a market leader by focusing on customer service, technology, supply chain and a broad assortment of products. With Flipkart and the other shareholders who have come together, we will continue to advance the winning eCommerce ecosystem in India.”
Walmart’s investment includes $2 billion of new equity funding, which will help Flipkart accelerate growth in the future. Walmart and Flipkart are also in discussions with additional potential investors who may join the round, which could result in Walmart’s investment stake moving lower after the transaction is complete. Even so, the company would retain clear majority ownership. Tencent and Tiger Global will continue on the Flipkart board, joined by new members from Walmart.