Bloomberg reported Friday that Flipkart’s board has approved the sale of a roughly 75% stake to the Walmart group, which also includes Google parent Alphabet. The report states that Japan’s SoftBank will also sell the group its stake, which is in excess of 20%. The deal would value Flipkart at around $20 billion.
Meanwhile, the Times of India reported Friday that, when the Walmart (WMT) takeover takes place, Flipkart chairman Sachin Bansal will step down. His co-founder, Binny Bansal (no relation) would stay on—according to this report, Walmart only wants one of the co-founders to hang around.
The two Bansals used to be colleagues at Amazon (AMZN) before—mirroring the U.S. firm’s starting point—they started Flipkart as an online bookstore 11 years ago. The Times of India report cites a source as saying the companies were working out the sale of Sachin Bansal’s shares to Walmart. The pair together own 10% of Flipkart’s shares so, if both reports are accurate, Sachin Bansal’s stake is presumably rolled into the board-approved agreement.
Amazon was on Thursday reported to have made a counter-offer for a 60% stake in Flipkart. Its proposed deal apparently included a non-compete clause for the Bansals to sign.
A Flipkart takeover would be a huge coup for Walmart international business chief, Judith McKenna, who took the role a few months ago. While the U.S. giant’s international locations have been relatively underperforming compared to those at home—hence Walmart selling off its Asda chain in the U.K., for example—Flipkart offers the leading online retail experience in a market of 1.3 billion people.
If the Walmart deal goes through, it’s likely to step up price competition in India, where Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last month claimed his e-commerce platform was the fastest-growing.