The biggest American multinational retailer Walmart Stores Inc is reportedly in the advanced stages of discussions to acquire a significant minority stake in Flipkart, India's biggest e-commerce company. The move could give a sturdy competition to their rival Amazon.
According to the sources close to the matter, the deal could be finalised by March this year. Key officials from both Walmart and Flipkart held a meeting last week in Bengaluru, on the same matter, the Economic Times reported.
IBTimes could not independently verify the report and the officials of Walmart and Flipkart have not given any confirmation on the matter.
A spokesperson of Walmart, however, told Economic Times that as per the company policy they do not comment on rumours or speculations.
However, if the deal fructifies, it will reinforce Flipkart's cash pile and help it compete with its biggest rival Amazon. The deal may also involve primary and secondary sales by some long-standing investors.
The sources said that Walmart may acquire about 15-20 percent stake in Flipkart.
"For Walmart, India is an exciting and priority market. Walmart is deeply committed and proud of creating shared value for local communities, kiranas, small farmers and our local supplier partners in India," said the spokesperson.
The deal could be a gamechanger as it will be very easy for Flipkart to step into the food and grocery business which the e-commerce player has been trying to introduce in India for a long time in a bid to compete with Amazon.
Besides benefitting Flipkart, the deal would also lead Walmart to gain access to Flipkart's database. Both the companies have no online presence in selling any grocery items to the people in India.
Walmart India, the local arm of the world's largest retailer, owns and operates 21 wholesale stores. Recent reports suggest that the company is also set to expand its store network besides focusing on the online presence in the country. It is targeting to open 30 stores in the next three years.