Friday, 17 August, 2018

Is Walmart chasing a mirage in Flipkart with the $16-billion acquisition?

The fear of missing out for Walmart proved to be strong enough to override concerns about slower-than-expected growth of e-commerce in India and Flipkart’s losses Is Walmart chasing a mirage in Flipkart with the $16-billion acquisition?
Russell Knight | 14 May, 2018, 12:46

In the Walmart-Flipkart deal, the revenue department will go through the share purchase agreement to ascertain the objective of investment and the emanating gains.

Cutting Flipkart's massive losses while keeping Amazon India at bay, building up the company's depleted senior leadership team, retaining key middle managers and making the combination of Binny Bansal and CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy work are some of the immediate challenges that Walmart faces.

"There is likely to be capital gains withholding tax implications when the shares of Flipkart Singapore are sold by Softbank or other foreign investors".

After conflicting news reports that Japan's SoftBank Group Corp may or may not sell its 20-22 percent stake in Flipkart to USA retailer Walmart Inc, comes the latest news reports claiming that the Internet giant will invest in Paytm Mall.

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A Walmart spokesperson declined to comment on SoftBank's plans. The agreement will effectively result in a transfer of ultimate ownership in Flipkart India to Walmart.

Post the Walmart-Flipkart, SoftBank reportedly had a second thought about selling its entire Flipkart stake to Walmart. SoftBank had alone pumped in over $5 billion in four companies including Paytm, Oyo, Flipkart, and Ola. As per the definitive agreement between the companies last week, Walmart will acquire about 77 per cent stake in the Singapore entity for Dollars 16 billion. However, he said if SoftBank decides to stay put, it will bring more equilibrium to the Flipkart board.

Other deciding factors would be Son's relationship with Walmart and that SoftBank likes to be a long-term investor, sources said, adding the Japanese conglomerate is very bullish on India and sees vast opportunities for growth of investment. This investment will be made by Walmart purchasing new shares of Flipkart at the same price as the acquisition transaction.

Sources said Walmart had indeed courted SoftBank for buying its shares but the Japanese group has not yet taken a final call on the issue. Last week, Walmart told the SEC in regulatory filings that the U.S. retail giant has an option to invest an additional $3 billion in Flipkart at the same valuation within a year of completing the acquisition of a 77% stake in the company. "There will be more balance of power if SoftBank is there in the company", he said, asking not to be named as Walmart is a client of his company. Walmart could increase its shareholding by an additional 10-12%.

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