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Walmart takes control of Indian online retailer Flipkart for ?12bn

Walmart has splashed out $16bn (?12bn) to seize control of India’s largest online retailer Flipkart, strengthening its global fight against US rival Amazon.
The grocery giant has branded India “one of the most attractive retail markets in the world” after striking a deal to buy 77pc of the firm.
The move will mean Flipkart’s co-founder Binny Bansal, China’s Tencent Holdings, Microsoft Corp and Tiger Global Management stay on as minority investors.
As part of the deal, Flipkart will be handed $2bn (?1.5bn) of new equity funding from Walmart to fuel future growth.
Softbank founder Masayoshi Son let slip news of the tie-up ahead of time when he revealed his vision fund sold its stake in Flipkart to Walmart, netting a 60pc return on its investment.
It marks another consolidation in the global grocery sector after Sainsbury’s and Asda unveiled a ?15bn mega merger last week. Walmart will hold a 41pc stake in the combined firm, if the deal wins regulatory backing.
Walmart takes control of Indian online retailer Flipkart for ?12bn

The Flipkart logo at its office in Bengaluru
Doug McMillon, the Walmart president and chief executive, said the Flipkart tie-up would help the company grow in a “critical” market.
“India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate, and our investment is an opportunity to partner with the company that is leading transformation of ecommerce in the market,” he said.
Flipkart booked net sales of $4.6bn for the year to March, while eKart - its supply chain business - makes 500,000 daily deliveries across 800 cities.
Walmart takes control of Indian online retailer Flipkart for ?12bn

Doug McMillon (L) and Flipkart co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal
The group is India's dominant player in a fast-growth sector, which could hit $200bn within a decade, according to Morgan Stanley.
Walmart said its stake in Flipkart could be diluted if talks with outside investors progress. Despite this, the company would still be the biggest shareholder in the group.
The US retailer has been building a united front against Amazon overseas by partnering with Japanese online marketplace Rakuten and taking a 12pc stake in Chinese online retailer JD.com.
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