Amazon may put in a rival bid to acquire Bangalore-based Flipkart Online Services even as the Indian e-commerce market leader is in talks with Walmart for a majority stake sale, according to the Mint newspaper.
Amazon (amzn) has held early exploratory discussions to buy Flipkart, the newspaper reported citing unidentified people, who said a deal with Walmart (wmt) is more likely to go through. The world’s biggest retailer is closing in on acquiring 55% of Flipkart through a mix of primary and secondary share purchases that could value the Indian company at $21 billion, according to the report.
India is seen as the next big potential prize after the U.S. and China with Kotak Institutional Equities estimating the online market may reach $28 billion by 2020. The e-commerce battle in India has intensified as the burgeoning market lures global giants.
Flipkart and Amazon did not respond to requests for comment by the newspaper, according to the report.
Existing investors in Flipkart such as Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners, Naspers and IDG Ventures are among those expected to sell much or all of their shares in India’s biggest online retailer, according to the report.