Retail giant Walmart Inc. on Saturday announced that it has acquired approximately 77 per cent stake in e-commerce major Flipkart. In a statement, Walmart announced an investment of $2 billion to help accelerate the growth of the Flipkart business. Both companies will retain their unique brands and operating structures in India, it said.
While Walmart now holds approximately 77 per cent of Flipkart, the remainder of the business is held by other shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft Corp.
"Walmart and Flipkart will achieve more together than each of us could accomplish separately to contribute to the economic growth of India, creating a strong local business powered by Walmart," Walmart International President and CEO Judith McKenna was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Our investment will benefit India by providing quality, affordable goods for customers, while creating new skilled jobs and opportunities for suppliers. As a company, we are transforming globally to make life even easier for customers, and we are delighted to learn from, contribute to and work with Flipkart to grow in India, one of the fastest-growing and most attractive retail markets in world."
As per the statement, structure and financial details of Flipkart's existing management team will continue to lead the business.
"Tencent Holdings Ltd and Tiger Global Management LLC will remain represented on the Flipkart board, in addition to independent board members, and will be joined by new members from Walmart," the statement said.
"The board will work to maintain Flipkart's core values and entrepreneurial spirit while ensuring it has strategic and competitive advantages."
Flipkart's financials will now be reported as part of Walmart's International business segment.
"We are poised and ready to deliver the full value of this partnership for India," Flipkart's Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Binny Bansal was quoted as saying in the statement.
"By combining Walmart's omni-channel retail expertise, supply-chain knowledge and financial strength with Flipkart's talent, technology and local insights, we are confident that together we can drive the next wave of retail in India."
The statement added that as Walmart scales in India, the company will continue to partner to create sustained economic growth across agriculture, food and retail.
"Future investments by Walmart will support national initiatives and will bring sustainable benefits in jobs creation, supporting small businesses, supporting farmers and supply chain development and reducing food waste," the statement added.
(With IANS inputs)