Flipkart buys back shares from IDG Ventures, SoftBank and Accel execs

Amazon makes a formal offer to buy 60% of its main competitor in India

Flipkart ( India's Largest E-commerce company ) board has approved to sell 75% of the stack to Walmart in a $15 billion deal as per reported by Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources.

According to sources, Walmart is expected to pump in as much as $12 billion for primary and secondary shares, valuing Flipkart at about Dollars 20 billion - far higher than the $17.6 billion valuation of the current buyback.

These developments came close on the heels of Amazon making a formal offer to buy 60% of Flipkart, in competition with Walmart's bid to get majority ownership of the company.

The Walmart-Flipkart deal has ruffled a lot of feathers but despite the turn out, the company's biggest investor, SoftBank, will be leaving the foray. Sources close to the newspaper said Walmart was supposed to sign the term sheet for the deal nearly three weeks ago, but did not because SoftBank wanted Flipkart to wait until Amazon had put in its bid. The buzz is that the American company could bag four of the 10 seats on the board but the top management is not expected to change.

For Walmart, a company that already operates more than 20 stores in the country, the deal would finally push them from being confined to a "cash-and-carry" wholesale business to a dominate force online.

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India is a critical market for both Walmart and Amazon and a deal with Flipkart would help either player in consolidating their position in the booming e-commerce market here. The world's largest retailer has struggled against Amazon as consumers increase their spending on the Internet. The companies are each other's rivals in the United States as well.

Much is left to speculation, however: Amazon, Walmart and Flipkart all refuse to comment in any official capacity on what could well become one of the most important e-commerce deals of the year.

Walmart is seen keen on bringing Binny and Krishnamurthy (an ex-Tiger Global executive) on the board, besides having at least three of their own nominees, the report said.

As part of the Walmart deal, Flipkart's existing shareholders Tencent Holdings, South Africa's Naspers and Microsoft Corp. are expected to retain small stakes, the people said. That stake could be worth more than $4 billion (roughly Rs. 26,800 crores) at the Walmart deal's valuation.

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